- Blanch the pickling onions in a large pan of boiling water for 3 minutes. Use a draining spoon to remove them from the pan. Drain well and set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel.
- Meanwhile, add the mung beans to the pan of boiling water and boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20–25 minutes or until tender. Drain well and set aside.
- Bring the stock to the boil, add the creamed coconut and stir until it dissolves. Set aside.
- Using a pestle and mortar, pound the ginger and garlic to a paste. Stir in the ground coriander, garam masala, turmeric and chillies until well blended.
- Heat a large wok or heavy-based flameproof casserole over a high heat. Add 2 tbsp of the oil. When the oil is hot, add the coriander, cumin and mustard seeds. Fry, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds or until the seeds give off their aroma and start to crackle. Use a draining spoon to transfer the seeds to kitchen paper on a plate.
- Add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil and the spice paste to the wok. Reduce the heat to moderate and stir-fry for about 1 minute. Stir in the carrots, parsnips, potatoes and 2 tbsp water, and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes.
- Pour in the coconut stock and bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower florets, peas and pickling onions. Cover and continue simmering for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and bring back to the boil, then boil for about 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated and all of the vegetables are just tender.
- Add the cabbage, mung beans and fried spice seeds, and stir-fry for just long enough to wilt the cabbage. Add seasoning to taste and serve immediately, sprinkled with chopped fresh coriander, if using.
Some more ideas
*Courgettes, vegetable marrow and mushrooms can be used instead of the parsnips, peas and cabbage. Peel, seed and chop 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) marrow; coarsely chop 450 g (1 lb) courgettes; and cut 250 g (9 oz) button mushrooms in half. Add to the wok with the cauliflower and pickling onions. *You can use hulled and split mung beans (called moong dal in India) rather than whole mung beans. The dal do not need to be soaked overnight, but will require 45–50 minutes cooking. Other alternatives are toovar dal and urad dal (a staple in the Punjab). Both of these split beans need to be simmered for about 1 hour to become tender.
*Coconut features in many traditional curries, often in generous proportions. It is high in saturated fat, so here only a small amount is used to contribute flavour and body to the sauce. *To preserve the vitamins under the skin of potatoes, just scrub them rather than peeling them before cooking. *All the water-soluble vitamins (B group and C) from the vegetables are retained in the curry sauce.
Each serving provides
A, C, E, folate, B1, B6, niacin, potassium, copper, iron