I do love a spicy roast potato and the addition of parsnips offers a little more depth and complexity. I could happily eat a plateful of this for my supper, with perhaps a dollop of yoghurt and another of mango chutney on the side, but it also makes a great addition to a spread of other spicy, pick-and-mix dishes. You can use a ready-made curry or spice blend, but it’s always delicious and satisfying to grind and blend your own spices.
A delicious comfort food that makes a perfect side (or a meal in its own right!), the curry spices add a burst of flavour to the roasted potatoes and parsnip.
- About 500 g potatoes
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- About 500 g parsnips
- 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
For the curry spice mix
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- About 6 black peppercorns
- ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
- 1 tsp ground fenugreek
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. For the curry spice mix, put the coriander seeds and black peppercorns in a dry frying pan and toast over a gentle heat for a minute or so, until fragrant. Tip into a mortar and leave to cool. Add the chilli flakes, then crush the spices with the pestle to a coarse powder. Combine with the fenugreek, turmeric and salt.
Peel the potatoes and cut into 3–4 cm chunks. Put them into a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute, then immediately take off the heat and drain well.
Put the oil in a large roasting tray and place in the oven for 5 minutes to heat up. Meanwhile, peel the parsnips and cut them into similar-sized chunks to the potatoes.
Carefully tip the potatoes and parsnips into the hot oil, add the spice mix and toss thoroughly so that the vegetables all get a good coating of spice. Roast for about 40 minutes until the veg are golden and crisp, giving them a stir halfway through. Stir in the chopped garlic and return to the oven for 2–3 minutes.
Serve straight away, with a dish of thick, plain yoghurt and perhaps mango chutney.
If you happen to have any celeriac to hand, this makes a great third addition to the spicy veg. Cut it into chunks and add to the potatoes along with the parsnips.
Recipe from Three Good Things by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Bloomsbury, hb, $45.00). Photography © Simon Wheeler.