I’ll never forget my mum’s head-turning squeal when she saw a bag of desiree potatoes marked “grown in Lincolnshire” in the aisle of a London supermarket. She’s evangelical about their butteriness and proud of the fact they’re grown near our family home, so this dish, which uses a classic Gujarati spicing of cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli, appears regularly on the Sodha family table.
Serves 2-3 as a main course
rainbow or Swiss chard 400g
rapeseed oil 3 tbsp
black mustard seeds 1 tsp
brown onions 2 medium, sliced
desiree potatoes 600g
ginger 3cm, peeled and grated
garlic 4 cloves, crushed
ripe tomatoes 400g, cut into wedges
chilli powder 1⅓ tsp
ground cumin ⅓ tsp
ground coriander ⅓ tsp
ground turmeric ½ tsp
salt 1¼ tsp
To prepare the chard, cut the stems from the leaves. Cut the stems into 4cm pieces and slice the leaves into 4cm strips.
Put the oil into a large lidded frying pan and, when hot, add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the onions and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until soft and golden brown. In the meantime, peel the potatoes and cut into 2cm cubes. When the onions are ready, add the ginger and garlic to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the potatoes and 200ml of water. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and the chard stalks, cover and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the chard stalks are soft. Add the chilli, cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt and stir gently. Finally, add the chard leaves, coat with the mixture and pop the lid back on for a final 2-3 minutes, until the leaves have wilted. Serve with hot chapattis or rice, yogurt and a little pickle.
From Fresh India by Meera Sodha (Penguin, £20)
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