Potato, Spinach and Peas with Spicy Tomato Oil and Yoghurt

This is a perfect ‘Hungry Gap’ recipe by Yottam Ottolenghi (photograph Louise Hagger/The Guardian). It has aspirations of sunshine but with easily available ingredients. If you’re having guests why not make the full feast and add the Mung Bean Curry and Herby Roti’s with Lemon Pickle.

Ingredients (Serves 4)
3 waxy potatoes (500g), peeled and cut into 2cm x 5cm wedges
2 plum tomatoes (180g)
90ml vegetable oil
1½ tsp cumin seeds
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped (180g)
Fine sea salt
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
20g fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
¼ tsp ground turmeric
250g fresh or defrosted frozen peas
250g defrosted frozen spinach, squeezed dry
1 tsp chilli flakes (or less if you prefer things less spicy)
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tsp tomato paste
75g plain yoghurt


Bring a medium saucepan of well-salted water to a boil, then add the potato wedges and cook for 12 minutes, until cooked through. Strain through a colander set over the sink, set aside to drain well and wipe out the saucepan.

Meanwhile, set a small sieve over a small bowl and, using the coarse side of a box grater, grate in the tomatoes, discarding the skins as you go, then set aside.

Return the pan to a medium-high heat, add 60ml of the oil and, once it’s hot, add the cumin, onion and a teaspoon and a quarter of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes, until translucent. Stir in the garlic, ginger and turmeric, cook for a minute until fragrant, then pour in the strained tomato water from the bowl. Using a spoon, release any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, then stir in the peas and spinach, and cook for another five minutes, until all the moisture has cooked out and the vegetables are nicely coated in the oil.

Meanwhile, put the remaining two tablespoons of oil in a small frying pan on a medium heat. Once hot, add the chilli flakes and mustard seeds, and cook for a minute, until they start to pop. Add the grated tomato pulp, tomato paste and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and cook for three minutes, until the oil separates and the tomato darkens in colour.

Stir the potatoes through the spinach and peas, and cook on a medium-high heat for a minute or so, just to heat through, then transfer to a serving platter. Spoon on the yoghurt and serve with the tomato oil drizzled over the top.