Meera Sodha’s vegan recipe for root vegetable pachadi

Pachadi, a south Indian dish, has become my answer to many a lone vegetable lying at the bottom of the fridge. It is my Indian “bubble and squeak”. Although there are no mashed potatoes here, there are plenty of leftover Christmas root vegetables, which have been given a big, bold flavour makeover using mustard seeds, ginger and chillies, before being doused in coconut yoghurt. It is belly-warming but fresh, enlivening but also comforting, and exactly what I want after eating far too much, as always, on Christmas Day.

Root vegetable and sprout pachadi
Julienning or grating 600g vegetables will take some time if you do it by hand. I speed things up by using the grater blade on my food processor or a julienne peeler (the Oxo one is simply the best). Beetroot tastes great in this dish, but using that alone will turn everything bright pink.

Prep 15 min
Cook 15 min
Serves 4 as a side

2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1½ tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or grated
2.5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1½ finger chillies, finely sliced
10 fresh curry leaves
600g mixed root vegetables (parsnip, carrot, swede, beetroot, etc), julienned or grated
200g brussels sprouts, shredded
250g coconut yoghurt, plus 50g extra to serve – I like Coconut Collaborative
50g desiccated coconut (or 10 tbsp)
1½ tsp fine sea salt
Chapatis and dal, to serve

Put the oil in a deep frying pan for which you have a lid and set over a medium heat. Once hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds, stir for a minute, then add the garlic, ginger, chilli and curry leaves, and cook, stirring, for two minutes more, until the garlic browns and the curry leaves crisp up.

Stir in the vegetables and a couple of tablespoons of cold water, cover the pan and leave to cook for five minutes. Lift off the lid, stir in the coconut yoghurt, desiccated coconut and salt, then pop the lid back on and cook for another five minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but not soft.

Serve topped with a swirl of extra yoghurt, with chapatis and dal alongside.