Parsnips don’t exactly scream summer, but they do have a fun sweetness I thought would play nicely with curry leaf. And I really fancied something with curry leaves. They’re great – bitter and fresh and so aromatic.
This is a simple thing I threw together for dinner. I’ve only cooked it once, so it comes as seen. But I think it pretty much works.
I’d have made up a coriander dressing, but as it was a bank holiday Sunday with credibly sunny weather it seemed like all the coriander in Cambridge was already in someone’s BBQ marinade. Sod it – I’ve been volunteering at the beer festival all week, I need the vegetables.
- Parsnips (one large), about 350-400g
- Potato, 100g
- Curry leaves (fresh), 10-12 or so
- Green chili (hot), 1
- Gram flour, 4tbsp
- Turmeric, 1/2tsp
- Salt, at least 1/4tsp
- Black pepper, plenty
Coarsely grate the parsnip and potato into a bowl and press out some of the liquid. Tear the curry leaves into shreds. Very finely slice the chili, and beat the egg.
Mix everything together thoroughly.
Get plenty of oil quite hot in a frying pan, and spoon in big dollops of the mixture. Flatten it out slightly into little rosti shapes, and then reduce the heat to medium. Cook each of the rosti for about 4 minutes on each side, and take them out to drain on kitchen roll for a minute or two before serving.
They’re a bit fragile, so be careful when flipping them over.
Mine were done after this cooking time, but to be doubly sure you can always finish them in the oven for ten minutes.
With the gram flour, they’re a little like a parsnip bhaji, and the curry leaf is very much to the forefront. It’s a wonderful scent as they fry, and it carries through onto the palate, blending with that earthy-sweet from the parsnip.
You could add a little ginger to really punch up the aromas, but I wanted the curry leaves to stand. Likewise, a few mustard seeds wouldn’t hurt.
I also wonder if you could vegan-ify this one just by taking out the egg? Gram flour is pretty good at binding, and the rosti are fairly fragile even with it, so eggs may be next to no loss at all. Perhaps a bit more gram flour for that variant?