Mark Hix recipe: Parsnip chips with curry and apple

Serves 4-6

A spicy little number that works really well with the sweetness of the parsnips. You can make it as spicy or mild as you wish just by adding more chilli.

You don't really need to peel the parsnips if they are nice and clean, as the skins give the parsnip chips a nice character.

4-5 large parsnips, trimmed
A good knob of butter or ghee
4 medium shallots, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
A small piece of root ginger, peeled and finely grated or chopped
1 small red chilli, sliced
¼tsp ground turmeric
1tsp ground cumin
½tsp cumin seeds
1tsp curry powder
½tsp fennel seeds
½tsp fenugreek seeds
A few curry leaves
A pinch of saffron threads
100ml stock (¼ of a good-quality cube will do, dissolved in that amount of hot water)
100ml double cream (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cooking apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped

Cut the parsnips into 10cm-lengths then into large 2cm-thick chips. Put them in a pan of cold salted water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 5 minutes until tender, then drain.

Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan and gently cook the shallots, garlic, ginger and chilli without colouring. Add all the spices and cook for another minute to release their flavours. Add the stock, bring to the boil and allow it to reduce by half.

Next add the apple and continue simmering for about 10-15 minutes until the apple has disintegrated.

Coarsely blend half of the sauce in a liquidiser or with a stick blender until smooth and pour back into the pan. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

Finish the parsnip chips as per the potato chips in hot fat and serve with the sauce poured over.

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