In my mother's case, standing in saf-e noon o goosht (store lines) whether to buy freshly baked bread or the good quality hand-cut meat at the butcher shop, it was a precious moment to get to know her neighbors and the people in the community. She loved a good conversation and was always eager to hear ordinary people's real-life stories and that's what she would miss greatly every time she came here for a visit. Not being able to communicate in English with our neighbors, people in the markets or the parks was quite troubling for her emotionally. We were all so busy each time she visited us that we could not accommodate her as fully as she would have desired. I would try to do my best translating her questions which at times were a bit too personal for my taste. She was very much interested in learning how and when someone had migrated to this country, what it was like in the beginning and how the transition and the assimilation process was like for them. At times, I felt so uneasy interpreting this line of back and forth communication between my mother and a non-Iranian guest at a party. But that was the kind of story my mother was interested in, not what people did for a living, how much they were worth or what kind of a house or car they owned. I suppose it was her genuine interest in the human story of displacement and diaspora that people often responded well to her questions by giving lengthy answers.
2 1/2 cups thick yogurt (strained)
3 medium-size kohlrabies, peeled, thinly sliced or coarsely shredded or cubed
1 bunch of fresh parsley, hard stems removed and chopped
1 small bunch of fresh chives or scallions, chopped
A few sprigs of fresh mint, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried mint
1 large onion, chopped or thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
A small pinch of turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper (may be adjusted to your liking)
Olive oil (extra virgin) or Vegetable oil
- Place the sliced kohlrabies into a skillet, add 1/2 cup of water and cook on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes until they soften slightly. Add a pinch of salt. Discard water.
- Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil/vegetable oil in a frying pan, add onions and saute until golden brown. Add a tiny pinch of turmeric and the minced garlic, stir and saute them in the olive oil for another five minutes.
- Add the kohlrabi pieces, salt and pepper to taste.
- At the end add the chopped parsley, chives and mint and mix well.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the yogurt with all the ingredients and gently stir together. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Let cool for an hour.