Winter veg avial
A little taste of Kerala… a place that I have always wanted to visit. This dish does nothing to dampen my enthusiasm, in fact quite the opposite. It’s also a brilliant recipe for using up winter vegetables in a flavoursome and slightly off-beat way. It’s a Meera Sodha recipe from Waitrose Food.
Preheat the oven to 180°C / gas 4.
Line 2 baking trays with parchment or foil. Cut the carrots and parsnips into batons and the other veg into similar size pieces.
Toss the veg with 2 tbsp oil in a large bowl, season and spread over the trays. It’s important that you use 2 trays and don’t crowd the veg too much or it will steam rather than roast.
Bake for approximately 40 minutes until crisp on the outside and soft in the middle.
While the veg is roasting, whizz the coconut, ginger, chilli, garlic and cumin seeds together in a small food processor with 200ml of water (or coconut milk for a richer texture) until smooth; set aside.
Heat the remaining oil in a large, lidded frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the curry leaves and mustard seeds, then the onions. Cook for 10 minutes, then add the coconut paste; cover and cook for 3-4 minutes. Mix in the roasted veg, peas and salt. Add the yoghurt, bring to a gentle simmer then remove from the heat. Serve with the coriander scattered over the top.
This dish can be served with a side of wholegrain basmati, which adds a plain but nutty flavour that works well with the spicy, coconut-scented vegetables.
The exotic but earthy nature of this fragrant dish makes it the ideal candidate for either an off-dry Riesling or a refreshing glass of pale ale. Alternatively, a beautiful cider works well – or, for the non-tipplers, a delicious apple juice.