Recipe: Melissa Hemsley's No-Waste Parsnip Dahl
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Recipe: Melissa Hemsley’s No-Waste Parsnip Dahl

Waste not, want not

Raid your leftovers for this delicious dash, says Melissa Hemsley

Parsnip Dahl Topped with Roasted Parsnips & Pickled Pink Onions

This is ideal to make at the end of the weekend with any leftover root veg that didn’t make it into the Sunday roast. It will set you up nicely for Monday’s dinner – just reheat and top with the onions and yoghurt, and then either freeze or enjoy later in the week with dosa-style pancakes or with fresh leaves and a crispy fried egg on top.

The Dahl

  • 4 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 5 large parsnips
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 thumb of ginger, finely grated
  • 400g split red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh coriander
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée
  •  400ml tin of full-fat coconut milk
  • 200g leafy greens, like chard
  • Yoghurt, to serve

Spice Mix

  • 1 1⁄2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin or 1 1⁄2 tbsp cumin seeds, roughly ground
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander or 1 1⁄2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp black mustard seeds, roughly ground
  • A pinch of chilli flakes or chilli powder
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Pink Pickled Onions

  • 2 large red onions
  • Juide of 2 limes or 4 tbsp vinegar
  • A big pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tsp maple syrup


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (fan) and melt two tablespoons of ghee or oil on a large baking tray in the oven.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the spices in a small bowl and slice up three of the parsnips into about 18 wedges, then toss them in the oil with half of the spice mix.
  3. Pop in the oven for about 30- 35 minutes, tossing halfway through with the maple syrup, until golden and going crispy at the edges.
  4. In a large pan, fry the onions in the remaining two tablespoons of ghee over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the remaining spice mix, plus the garlic and ginger, and fry for three minutes.
  5. Add the diced parsnips and lentils, the chopped coriander stems and the tomato purée.
  6. After a minute, add the coconut milk, then fill up the tin with 1.6 litres of hot water, stirring well. Pop the lid on, bring to the boil and then turn down to a medium heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir a few times throughout.
  7. Meanwhile, scrunch the red onion in a bowl with the lime juice, salt and maple syrup for 30 seconds, then leave in the juice. Once the lentils and parsnips in the pan are cooked, add the chopped greens, pop the lid on so they steam for three to five minutes until just tender.
  8. Serve topped with the roasted parsnips, coriander leaves, pink pickled onions and their juices and a dollop of yoghurt.

Eat Green by Melissa Hemsley (Ebury, £22)


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