I fully admit that I have a full-on obsession with any dish containing cumin, coriander, and tumeric. If I had to choose between a good curry and sushi, I’d probably choose to walk in front of a bus. You just can’t fight true love.
My spice cupboard is a little insane. You’ll note the first shelf is almost entirely made up of Indian and southwestern spices in the blue basket, as well as every pre-made spice and rub known to mankind on the left. The “traditional” herbs and spices – oregano, thyme, pepper – are represented in the white basket on the next shelf up. And I fully admit to not knowing what to do with half of what’s in it.
This dish came to me in a delicious and roundabout fashion. I was visiting friends in Peterborough and they took me to what turned out to be one of the best foodie fests I have ever attended. Folks, if you’re heading to the Kawarthas in July, make time for Fiesta Buckhorn. There I met Jennifer MacKenzie, owner and proprietor of In a Nuttshell, a little cafe in Lakefield. Jennifer had just published the Complete Curry Cookbook, and after chatting with her, I snapped up the book. She’d thoughtfully sourced all of the ingredients in the book from stores in and around Peterborough, so if she can find them there, they can be found anywhere.
I’ve been slowly going through the recipes over the past two years, and this one has neared cult status in my kitchen. This time I may have eaten this entire dish after photographing it, then served up the leftovers with chicken tikka.
I have plenty of leftovers for lunch, which is the one place I will concede curry might have a slight advantage over sushi. But don’t worry, sushi night is tonight, and I fully plan on making it up to those delicious raw fishes.
Dry Curry of Roasted Root Vegetables
Byron Ayanoglu and Jennifer MacKenzie’s Complete Curry Cookbook
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp cider or white wine vinegar
3 beets, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 all-purpose potato, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
2 carrots, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
2 small sweet potato, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
1/2 tsp garam masala
1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. In a small bowl, mix the garlic, salt, coriander, cumin, tumeric, cinnamon, cayenne, oil and vinegar
3. On an ungreased casserole dish, combine beets, potatoes, carrots, sweet potato and onion. Toss with spice mixture. Roast for 45-60 minutes, mixing thoroughly at the halfway point.
4. Let stand for 5 minutes, and transfer to serving dish. Scrape up any oil and spice from the casserole dish and drizzle over the veggies, then sprinkle with cilantro and garam masala, and serve.
Any proportion of root veggies works well in this dish. This time around, I had no potatoes and only had baby carrots. Less work, same great taste!
Oven to table round roasting dish by Sophie Conran for Portmeirion. Such a beautiful line!