Spiced Roast Parsnip Chunks with Coriander Chutney

‘Never dig parsnips until there’s been a good hard ground frost.’ That emphatic statement was instilled in me as a child by my grandfather and I now know he was right. Frost quite definitely sharpens up all the lovely fragrance and flavour of parsnips. During the long winter months – when little else but stored roots are available on the kitchen garden front – what we need is lots of variety in the way we cook them. Soup is an obvious one, and adding curry flavour always complements the sweetness of the parsnips. This one’s a winner, too, adopting the same idea – lovely to serve as a starter preceding a curry or alongside it as an accompaniment.

Serves 2-3 as a snack or accompaniment

This recipe first appeared in Sainsbury’s Magazine (Nov 2002).

Spiced Roast Parsnip Chunks with Coriander Chutney
 570 g (1 lb 4 oz) parsnips, peeled
 1 clove garlic, peeled
 ½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
 ½ teaspoon whole coriander seeds
 2 rounded teaspoons Madras curry paste
 2 tablespoons groundnut or other flavourless oil
 sea salt
For the coriander chutney:
 1 x 20g pack fresh coriander, leaves only
 2 tablespoons lime juice
 1 fresh green chilli, halved and deseeded
 1 clove garlic, peeled
 1 level tablespoon natural yoghurt
 ½ level teaspoon golden caster sugar
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).
You will also need a medium-sized baking tray measuring 35 x 25.5 cm (14 x 10 in).


Begin by making the chutney by simply whizzing everything together in a blender, then pour into a bowl and leave aside for the flavours to develop.

Now cut the parsnips into 5 cm (2 in) lengths that are about 2 cm (¾ in) at the thickest end.

Then place the garlic with half a teaspoon of salt in a mortar and crush them together. As the garlic comes into contact with the salt, it will quickly break down into a puree.

Then add the cumin and coriander seeds and crush those too, but not too finely.

Now add the curry paste and the oil and give everything a good whisk together.

Next, put the parsnips into a medium mixing bowl and add the spice paste, tossing everything together to give the parsnips a good coating.

Now tip the parsnips on to the baking tray, spread them out and bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 30 minutes.

Serve them hot, dipping each one into the chutney before eating.

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