I’d like to start this post by giving credit where it’s due, to Meera Sodha. This is a dish totally inspired by her root vegetable pachadi. I love her recipes – unfortunately my copy of Fresh India is in Hong Kong so I’m relying on her Guardian column for inspiration for the time being. Indian food has an unfortunate reputation of being ‘heavy’ at times, and Meera Sodha’s recipes are a brilliant refutation to this. Basically, I’m a fan.
As with Meera’s recipe, you can use virtually any shreddable / sliceable vegetable to make this. I’ve made it twice, each time with different combinations. I’m really loving red cabbage at the moment, and as everyone knows, I’m a Brussels sprout Stan. Adjust spices and condiments according to weight of ingredients used.
I know I go on about my food processor incessantly, but this is a dish which can only really be described as ‘easy’ if you have one. Otherwise, it’s super labour-intensive with all the vegetable slicing and shredding, but in my humble opinion worth it and a good arm workout to boot…
Serves 4 as a generous main, 6+ as a side
With it in mind that I’m in a two-person household, you may be wondering why I made so much food. Me too. But it sustained me for lunch for several days so it’s cool…
250g carrots (2 large)
225g sweet potato (1 medium)
300g brussels sprouts
200g red cabbage
1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
Thumb-sized piece ginger
4x garlic cloves
3x bay leaves
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp mustard seeds
125 ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp tamarind
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup / 50g shredded coconut
Chilli flakes, to taste
Salt, to taste
Coconut yoghurt, for topping
I also added 100g of a shredded broccoli stalk in the interests of zero waste, so do that if you want…
1- Get shredding! This is much easier if you have a food processor! You’ll need to grate the carrots and sweet potato and finely slice the cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Do the sprouts last because they smell a bit weird. Mix together in a large bowl and set aside
2- Mince the garlic and grate the ginger. I’m referencing the Guardian an abnormal amount today, but since reading this article I haven’t been peeling ginger and it’s great, time and waste saving!
3- Place a large wok or pot on medium heat, melt the coconut oil, and add the ginger and garlic. Cook until they are getting lightly golden and fragrant.
4- Add bay leaves, cumin, curry powder, tumeric, and mustard seeds. Cook for a further minute or so until fragrant.
5- Add the shredded / sliced vegetables to the pan with approx. 125 ml vegetable stock or water, and the 2 tbsp tamarind, and an amount of salt you deem acceptable. Stir so that the spices are mixed with the vegetables, and cover with a lid and allow to cook for approx. 8 minutes, checking every so often that it doesn’t require any more liquid (you don’t want it mushy but equally don’t want it raw).
6- If you are satisfied with the texture, turn the heat down low, add the shredded coconut, lime juice, and chilli flakes if you like them, and stir. Once it’s all well mixed together, remove from heat and you’re ready to serve.
Leftover rating: 2/3, this is at its best served immediately, but it sustained me for a couple of lunches and was still pretty delicious – I reheated my desired quantity in a frying pan and added spinach and quinoa to make a kind of hideous-looking fried rice quinoa thing. Very nice!
Serving Suggestions / Swaps / Tips
Because it’s lighter than your standard curry, it’s a nice accompaniment to a heavier Indian dish such as Saag Paneer (sneaky link to my own rendition) or just served as part of a kind of Thali / smorgasbord / buffet. Or on its own. In a standard insult-to-the-cuisine-I’m-consuming move, I served it with quinoa.
As suggested by Sodha, I topped mine with coconut yoghurt (the supermarkets here are really embracing Veganuary, so this is suddenly a thing in Lugano), which was lovely. If I had it on hand, I’d have stirred through some coriander too.
None of the ingredients here are particularly niche, but in my Pomelo Salad recipe I have some tips for acquiring Tamarind and other Asian ingredients.
Enjoy! Sorry if I insulted any food norms!