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Potato, parsnip, spice

We do love a spicy roast potato and the addition of parsnips offers a little more depth and complexity. This would make a great plateful for supper, with perhaps a dollop of nut-based 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.


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 pestle and mortar and leave to cool. Add the chilli flakes, then crush the spices to a coarse powder. Combine with the fenugreek, turmeric and salt.

Peel the potatoes and cut into 3–4cm 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.

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  • About 500g potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • About 500g parsnips
  • 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped

For the curry spice mix

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • About 6 black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

This recipe is taken from...

Hugh’s Three Good Things