My oven is sort of a piano that’s performed day by day, and I take advantage of it partly for the warmth it emanates, but in addition for the convenience – pop one thing in and overlook all about it till the timer rings. Proper now, I’m craving the comforting texture of potatoes and the nice and cozy fragrance of spices, and each of immediately’s recipes, which carry sturdy influences from southern India, sing to the tune of the oven. Within the first, the spicy perfume of sambar masala – the spice mix used to make sambar, a lentil and vegetable stew – enlivens a combination of roast potatoes, fennel, and beans, whereas the second is an easy but pleasant heat potato and onion tart paired with curry leaves, the crunchy, nutty texture of mustard seeds, creamy, salty feta and a soothing herb chutney.

Potato and onion tart with mint chutney (pictured above)

Prep 30 min
Prepare dinner 45 min
Serves 4-6

For the tart
1 x 640g sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted
2 medium baking potatoes (about 180g every), peeled
1 giant crimson onion (about 300g), peeled
10 curry leaves
1 garlic clove
, peeled and grated
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp crimson pepper flakes
1 tsp black or brown mustard seeds
½ tsp high-quality sea salt
½ tsp floor black pepper
30g feta, crumbled (optionally available)

For the chutney
1 x 20g bunch recent coriander, leaves and stems
1 x 12g bunch recent mint, leaves and stems
1 inexperienced chilli pepper (corresponding to serrano)
10
black peppercorns
2
tbsp lime juice
1 pinch
sugar
High-quality sea salt

Warmth the oven to 190C (170C fan)/375F/gasoline 5. Line a 23cm x 30cm rimmed baking tray with tin foil. Unroll the pastry and place it on the tray. Fold all sides of the pastry to type a 1cm border, then, utilizing the prongs of a fork, press the border all the way down to type an impression. Prick the centre of the pastry throughout, to assist it rise evenly throughout baking.

Lower the potatoes into skinny circles and place them in a bowl. Lower the onion in half lengthways, then minimize every half into skinny sections. Add the onions, curry leaves and garlic to the potatoes, drizzle with the oil, then scatter over the crimson pepper flakes, mustard seeds, salt and black pepper. Toss gently, to keep away from breaking the potato slices, till every little thing is properly coated, then unfold the combination over the floor of the pastry, avoiding the border.

Bake for about 45 minutes, rotating as soon as midway by way of to make sure even cooking, till hyped up and golden brown throughout. Take away and sprinkle over the feta, if utilizing.

Whereas the tart is baking, make the chutney. Put the coriander, mint, inexperienced chilli, peppercorns, lime juice, sugar and two tablespoons of chilly water in a blender and blitz clean; if it’s nonetheless a bit of thick in your liking, add as much as a tablespoon extra water to loosen. Season to style with salt, then serve on the facet of the nice and cozy tart.

Sambar masala-spiced roast potatoes with fennel and white beans

Nik Sharma’s oven roasted potatoes, fennel, and white beans with sambar masala
Nik Sharma’s spiced roast potatoes with fennel and white beans.

Prep 30 min
Prepare dinner 50 min
Serves 4

4 medium baking potatoes (about 180g every; I used russets), peeled
1 x 400g can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 giant white or yellow onion (300g), peeled
2 fennel bulbs (about 230g every), trimmed
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
tbsp sambar masala, store-bought or selfmade (see recipe under)
12 curry leaves (optionally available)
1 tsp crimson chilli flakes
High-quality sea salt and pepper
, to style
2 tbsp recent lemon juice, plus the zest of 1 lemon
2
spring onions, each white and inexperienced elements, thinly sliced
2 tbsp recent coriander leaves

For the sambar masala (makes about 200g)
15g giant recent curry leaves (about 40 in complete)
40g complete dried crimson chillies (or about 12 – I take advantage of equal elements complete kashmiri and byadgi chillies, however if you would like it hotter, use cayenne)
50g dried yellow break up peas (AKA chana dal)
3 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp black or brown mustard seeds
1 ½ tbsp fenugreek seeds
1
tbsp cumin seeds
5cm piece cinnamon stick
1 tsp floor turmeric

2 tsp sesame oil, or a impartial oil corresponding to grapeseed

For those who’re making your personal sambar masala, warmth a dry skillet or cast-iron pan over a medium-low warmth, add all of the dry elements, drizzle within the oil and cook dinner the spices fastidiously, stirring always, for 3 to 4 minutes – they may flip aromatic and start to toast, and the masala is prepared when the break up peas begin to flip brown, the curry leaves go crisp and the spices sizzle and pop. Take off the warmth, tip the spice combination on to a plate to chill fully to room temperature, then switch to a spice grinder or espresso mill and blitz to a high-quality powder. Retailer in an hermetic container and preserve in a cool, dry and darkish spot for as much as 4 months.

Warmth the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gasoline 6. Cube the potatoes into 2½cm chunks, place in a big roasting pan and add the drained beans. Lower the onion into quarters, separate these into particular person petals and add to the roasting pan. Thinly slice the fennel lengthways and add to the roasting pan. Drizzle the olive oil all around the greens, sprinkle with sambar masala, curry leaves, and crimson chilli flakes, and season with salt and pepper. Cowl the pan tightly with tin foil, crimp the sides to seal, then roast for half-hour.

Take away the foil, and cook dinner the greens uncovered for one more 20 minutes, or till they begin to brown and many of the liquid has evaporated. The potatoes ought to be tender sufficient for a knife to cross by way of them with ease.

Take away from the oven, drizzle over the lemon juice and garnish with the spring onions, coriander leaves and lemon zest. Serve heat by itself or with plain rice.

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