I have a glut of parsnips in the allotments so have been looking for recipes to use them up. I found a root vegetable Korma in one of my Nigel Slater books (Tender volume 1 which looked pretty easy so I adapted that slightly to make this mostly Parsnip Korma.
I was really surprised as to how well parsnip works in this dish, it has quite a meaty texture when cooked and if you did not know that it was in there then I reckon you might think it is chicken
It is a pretty mild curry that you can adapt to be as spicy as you like by adding or removing the chilli.
So I read that some people can’t be arsed reading any back story about making the dish and why. So for those of you with no patience or interest in anything but the recipe skip down to the end 🙂
Let’s cook some Korma
PARSNIPS GONE WILD
There are no perfect supermarket Parsnips growing in my allotment. They pretty much all look like multi legged or tentacled aliens looking to take over the world or perhaps just my patch of ground to start with.
I thought these two looked like some sort of octupus, my mum thought they were baby triffids.
I like to cook the trailing roots whole in strips just cut off the main body, and then chop up the parsnip into cubes about 2 cm thick. Depending on how fancy or rustic you want to be just go with it
GROUND SPICE MIX
The original recipe called for a grind of coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and the seeds of green cardomon pods. Now I do think that grinding your spices to order each time does make for a tastier dish but it really can be a faff sometimes.
It was today, breaking open 5-6 tough cardamon pods just to get those tiny seeds out seemed a chore, and then grinding up the fibrous coriander seeds and cumin in the pestle and mortar seemed to take ages.
I suppose I could have just got an actual grinder to do it or used ground coriander and ground cumin instead. I didn’t though so what right do I have to moan then lol you ask.
If you do use pre-ground powders make sure that they are not out of date as they tend to lose flavour and smell as they get older.
COOK DOWN ONIONS, GARLIC, GINGER AND SPICES
Chop up the onion quite fine and soften in a pan with the butter, trying not to brown them. Then add grated ginger and thinly sliced garlic, cooking a little longer just until you start to get the aromas wafting up out of the pan.
Then add in the ground spices, together with the tumeric, chilli powder, and a cinnamon stick
ADD IN THE VEGETABLES
Add in your chopped parsnips, I also added carrots as I had some in the garden, and I guess you can add any other root vegetables that you fancy too .
Stir them all up together until everything is nice coated with the spice mixture and cook / sweat for a few minutes.
ADD WATER TO COOK VEG
Add just enough water to cover and then simmer until the vegetables are soft enough to take the tip of a knife or prong of a fork.
ADD IN CREAM AND YOGHURT
Once the vegetables are cooked to be soft and tender, yet with some bite (or however you like them) it is time to get that creamy korma sauce going.
It is a good idea to let the mix cool down a bit before you slowly mix in the cream and the yoghurt so that the sauce does not split. Don’t worry if it does though it still tastes the same and unless you are trying to blag your way through a heat of Masterchef with a korma I reckon it will be fine :-0
The last steps before eating are to scatter some freshly chopped coriander leaf and toasted cashew nuts over the top. Both optional but both work well adding crunch and some freshness with the leafy part.
The parsnip and the carrots both are quite subtly sweet, which did surprise me. I also found the parsnip to be quite meaty so texture wise I did not really notice that the dish was vegetarian.
I had my Korma with rice and some naan bread for mopping up the sauce. It was a very mild curry and not the sort that I usually cook, however I could have made it spicier if I so chose just by adding more chilli.
|onions||1 large (chopped into thin slices)|
|ginger||1 inch piece (grated)|
|garlic||2 cloves thinly sliced|
|parsnip||2 large (about 500g)|
|carrot (optional)||2 large|
|green cardamon seeds||contents of 5-6 pods|
|cumin seeds||1 teaspoon|
|coriander seeds||2 teaspoons|
|ground tumeric||1 teaspoon|
|chilli powder||add to spice level of choice (1/2 teaspoon = mild)|
|green chilli||1 chopped|
|fresh coriander||handful of leaves|
|double cream||100 ml|
|natural yoghurt||100 ml|
|cashew nuts (optional)||handful chopped and toasted lightly|
Finely chop onion and garlic, grate ginger and add all three to pot with oil or butter and cook gently until soft
grind up coriander seed, cumin seed, and cardomon seed
chop up parsnips, carrots and whatever other veg you want
Add to pot with tumeric, chilli and cinnamon stick
Mix to coat all ingredients
Add water to cover and simmer until parsnips cooked tender (about 25-30 minutes)
cool slightly and stir in cream and yoghurt, cook gently to warm through
serve with rice, chopped coriander and toasted cashew (optional)