The Lechasseurs' Recipes

Only the "keepers"

Mixed Vegetables in a Mustard and Cumin Sauce

One of our favourite dishes from Camille and Michael's wedding. Frying the potatoes and cauliflower is a long process, but it's worth it!


450g (1lb) potatoes, boiled, cooled and peeled
Vegetable oil for shallow frying
1 medium sized cauliflower, broken into fairly chunky florets
7.5 cm (3 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
8 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons plus 600ml (1 pint) water
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon onion seeds (kalonji)
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 ¼- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
450ml (15 fl oz) finely chopped tomatoes
2 medium sized carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm ( ½ inch) thick rounds
½ teaspoon garam masala
150g (5 oz) peas, fresh, or frozen and defrosted


Cut the potatoes into thick chips about 4cm (1 ½ inches) long.

Put the oil in a wok or frying-pan and set over medium-high heat. When very hot, put in the potatoes and fry them until they are golden red. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with kitchen paper. Put the cauliflower into the same oil and fry until golden red. Remove with a slotted spoon and put on a plate lined with kitchen paper. Turn heat off and reserve the oil.

Put the ginger and garlic into the container of an electric blender or food processor along with 4 tablespoons water and blend until you have a smooth paste, pushing down with a rubber spatula when necessary.

Put 4 tablespoons of the oil used for frying into a large, preferably non-stick, frying-pan and set over medium-high heat. When very hot, put in the mustard seeds and cumin seeds.

As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop – this takes just a few seconds – put in the onion seeds and 2 seconds later, the fennel seeds. Give one quick stir and put in the paste from the blender. Stir and fry for 2 minutes.

Put in the turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander, and cayenne. Stir once or twice and put in the salt and tomatoes.

Stir and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the tomatoes are soft. Add 600ml (1 pint) water and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for about 7 minutes. Put in the carrots, cover again and simmer for 3 minutes. Now put in the garam masala, peas, fried potatoes and cauliflower. Mix gently and bring to a simmer. Cover and continue to simmer on low heat for 6-7 minutes, stirring gently now and then.

Madhur Jaffrey