You don’t have to use baby vegetables for this dish. I use them because they’re sweet and beautiful, but you could use larger roots and cut them down to size.
2¼ pounds mix of baby carrots, parsnips, turnips, and potatoes
2 teaspoons ground cumin
salt and ground black pepper
10 fresh curry leaves
1 large red onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1½-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2 Indian green chiles, finely sliced
1 x 14-ounce can of plum tomatoes
½ tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/3 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon honey
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Trim, wash, and scrub the baby vegetables and put them in one or two large baking pans. Drizzle with oil, add 1 teaspoon of cumin, and season with salt and black pepper, then mix until evenly coated. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until caramelized and crisp on the outside and soft inside.
In the meantime, make the Madras sauce. Put 2 tablespoons of oil into a large frying pan over medium heat and, when hot, add the curry leaves. Let them crackle and pop for a minute, then add the onion. Cook the onion for 10 minutes, until soft and golden, then add the garlic, ginger, and green chiles. Stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes until cooked through.
Add the tomatoes and their juice to the pan, breaking them up with the back of a wooden spoon or a fork. Fill the tomato can three-quarters full with water and add with the tomato paste, stirring to mix. Leave to cook for around 10 minutes, stir, and cook for another 5 minutes until rich and reduced. Then add the remaining teaspoon of cumin, the garam masala, turmeric, and honey. Add a little water to loosen the sauce and season with salt.
To serve, add almost all the roasted baby vegetables to the sauce, leaving a few aside. Transfer to a serving dish, lay the remaining vegetables on top, and serve with steamed rice or buttered chapatis.