Rachel Allen was brought up in Dublin and left home at eighteen to study at the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School. Rachel is now a busy ...
2 x 400ml tins of coconut milk
600ml vegetable stock
4 large carrots
700 g sweet potatoes
150 g spinach (any large stalks removed before weighing)
400 ml natural yoghurt
for the paste:
1 tblsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp chana masala
50 g root ginger (peeled and chopped)
12 cloves of garlic (peeled)
4 red chillies (de-seeded)
200 g onion (peeled and quartered)
50 ml vegetable oil
1 tblsp ground turmeric
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tsp salt
bunch of coriander (chopped)
100 g cashew nuts (toasted and chopped)
200 ml natural yoghurt or crème fraîche
large casserole dish or saucepan
First make the paste. Place a small frying pan on a medium heat and add the coriander, cumin and chana masala. Cook, tossing frequently, for about 1 minute or until they start to pop, then crush.
Place the ginger, garlic, chillies, onions and vegetable oil in a food processor and whiz for 2-3 minutes or until smooth.
Pour into a large saucepan or casserole dish and stir in the ground spices, along with the turmeric, sugar and salt. Place on a medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the mixture has reduced slightly.
Remove the mixture from the heat and pour half into a large bowl. Pour the coconut milk and stock into the remaining half in the saucepan or casserole dish, stirring to combine.
Leave to simmer for 15 minutes to reduce.
Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Peel the carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes and cut into 2cm cubes. Peel the onions and cut into eighths and chop the spinach.
Stir the yoghurt into the spice paste in the bowl, then add the vegetables and onions and stir to coat. Tip into 1–2 roasting tins and cook in the oven for about 1 hour or until lightly browned.
Remove the vegetables from the oven and add to the saucepan or casserole dish.
Place on a medium heat for a few minutes to warm through, then stir in the spinach and spoon into bowls with a sprinkling of fresh coriander, a scattering of the toastednuts and a spoonful of yoghurt or crème fraîche.