Seasonal local recipe No 172: Hugh’s curry-spiced parsnips and potatoes


This makes a simple supper in the aftermath of rich festive food and drink. Great made with the parsnips, potatoes, garlic and chillies from Camel CSA’s Christmas veg boxes.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall takes the French to task for not eating parsnips. Parsnips aren’t part of a traditional Scottish diet either (no jokes about deep-fried Mars bars please…)  To be honest, I never ate parsnips until I moved from Scotland to England. Scots prefer neeps, but I’m a willing convert.

Hugh says: “This is gorgous with simply cooked fish but stands as a dish on its own with a salad and a spoonful of thick yoghurt.” Can’t wait to give it a try.

Serves: 2-3

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45-50 minutes

About 500g potatoes
About 500g parsnips
3 tbsp sunflower oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and very finely chopped

For the curry spice mix
1 tbsp coriander seeds
Half a dozen black peppercorns
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp ground fenugreek
1 tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp fine sea salt

First make the spice mix. Heat the oven to 200C/390F/gas mark 6. Put the coriander seeds and black peppercorns in a dry frying pan and toast over a gentle heat for a few minutes, until fragrant. Tip into a pestle and mortar and leave to cool. Add the chilli flakes, then crush the lot to a coarse powder and mix with the fenugreek, turmeric and salt.

Peel the spuds and cut into 3-4cm chunks. Put them in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for one minute only, then take off the heat and drain well.

Peel the parsnips, cut into similar sized chunks to the potatoes (remove the core if it seems tough or woody) and add to the potatoes.

Pour the oil into a large, shallow roasting dish and heat in the oven for five minutes. Tip the potatoes and parsnips into the hot oil, add the spice mix and toss so the veg get a good coating of spice. Roast for 40 minutes, giving them a stir halfway through, or until golden and crisp. Stir in the garlic and return to the oven for two to three minutes. Serve straight away, with thick, plain yoghurt and perhaps mango chutney.

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