Saturday, July 21, 2007

Xtraterrestrial Gobo? Or Good Ol' Burdock Root!

Burdock Root

Burdock Root Pickle

Masala Burdock Root

Now most of us are familiar with those TV ads going BOGO or Buy One Get One Free. But what on earth is Gobo! I recently discovered this amazing vegetable also known as Burdock root in my local Japanese store. Now why would I try to cook something that looks so different from anything I have ever made? For Nupur's 'X' of Indian vegetables event ofcourse! Given that 'X' is such an ahem unique alphabet, Nupur came up with the innovative idea of using that as an opportunity to cook a vegetable we have never made before. Now given a wild card like this, I could not help BUT go wild ;).

So what do I do? I go pick up the craziest looking vegetable that looks barely edible, and resolve to make something R & I can enjoy! I come home, promptly fire up my internet browser and look up what this is and how one cooks it. Much to my surprise, I was delighted to find that the Gobo root has incredible medicinal properties and actually looks quite pretty as a young plant :) Now with even more motivation, I started looking for recipes, most of which were South East Asian style preparations.

Given that Nupur's event calls for predominantly Indian flavors, I decided to cook it 2 ways: a. as a pickle (yumm!) and b. as a spicy vegetable cooked Indian style.
The pickle I absolutely loved (its been pickling a few days now and tastes great!). As for the Indian style vegetable preparation, was not too bad either, where it tasted a bit like potato sabzi.

The key thing with the Burdock root is that it needs to be cleaned well and steamed for 15 minutes at least to make sure it loses its initial hardness. Once you are past that stage, you can use this in fried rice, noodles, and stir frys.

This is what the Gobo looks like once its cleaned and julienned...

Gobo/Burdock Root Pickle
1. 1 Burdock root
2. 1 cup readymade Pickle Mix. I used KaPra's mango pickle mix (available in any Indian store)
3. 1 cup oilve oil
4. Salt as desired
1. Wash and scrub the burdock root with a rough sponge or metal scrubber
2. Cut the root into juliennes and steam for 15 minutes till soft
3. Mix together the burdock root, pickle mix, salt and oil. Mix well.
4. Store in a air tight container. Make sure the oil rises 2 inches over the pickle mix for a longer shelf life
5. The pickle is ready to enjoy in 3-4 days

Masala Gobo/Burdock
1. 1 Burdock root
2. 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
3. 1½ tsp ginger-garlic paste
4. 1½ tsp red chilli powder
5. 1 tsp dhana-jeera powder
6. 1/4 tsp garam masala
7. 1 tsp turmeric powder
8. 1/2 cup chopped coriander
9. Salt to taste
10. 2-3 tsp olive oil
11. 1 tsp lemon juice
1. Wash and scrub the burdock root with a rough sponge or metal scrubber
2. Cut the root into juliennes and steam for 15 minutes till soft
3. In a heated pan, sauté the onions in oil
4. To this add the turmeric and roast well
5. Add the ginger garlic paste and sauté for a minute or two
6. Add the dhana-jeera powder, red chili powder and garam masala. Roast well
7. Add the steamed burdock root and sauté well
8. Add salt, lemon juice and coriander
9. Let the mixture cook well. Add some water if needed
Server with Naan or Rice

Enjoy :)


Asha said...

I have never seen this root Dhana.Very nice! Pickle looks great.

Sharmi said...

very new and informative. never heard of such a thing before. the pickle looks great.

Priyanka said...

Very creative of you Dhana. Never heard of Gobo before. Both the sabzi and pickle look pretty tasty.

Cynthia said...

Thanks for the info on this new-to-me ingredient. I love the idea that one can pickle it!

sra said...

Interesting, Dhana, may have heard of burdock root, but not as gobo, ever!

Nupur said...

What a lovely post, Dhana! You really took on the challenge and found something so unsual. Both the dishes look delicious! Actually, the pickle reminds me of this root called "mayinmula" in is used in pickles and is so tasty. I wonder: could gobo be the same thing???
Thank you so much for playing along with the challenge and introducing me to something novel.

Dhana said...

Asha, I had never heard of this root before either. Was surprised to read of its many medicinal properties!

Thanks Sharmi! The pickle tasted quite good in fact!

Priyanka, I know! the only Gobo I knew of was the one used for decorative lighting on stage :)

Cynthia, totally agree. Picking it was a good decision given that it tasted better than in its the vegetable form!

Sra, wow I hadn't heard of Burdock root either. Have you made it before?

Nupur, thanks for hosting! I am so glad for the X series, without which I doubt I would have attempted to cook this odd looking root. As for it being Mayinmula not really sure? But this tastes a bit like taro or potato when cooked. said...

Thanks for sharing about the herbal qualities of this root! Very fascinating!


Dhana said...

Thanks Kanchana! I was quite surprised as well to learn of the medicinal value of this root/vegetable!