Kashmiri beauty from Hackney’s Dalston market

EVERY WEEK I take £5  to Ridley Road Market in Dalston, Hackney, London E8 2LH, to spend on seasonal food, obviously not including items already likely to be in a kitchen cabinet, such as sauces, oil, herbs and spices. On Friday I tell you what I have chosen and publish a seasonal recipe.

As usual, expenditure on any extra ingredients, eg, flour, will be recouped by usage over subsequent weeks. Some of the recipes will be frugal. They will all be tasty. All will be vegetarian.

NB: this website uses metric measures but a few Ridley Road traders cheekily sell in imperial, some in metric and some also by the bowl.

This week’s £5 basketRidleylogoc

About 0.5kg (1lb) mushrooms 50p

Bowl peppers £1

Bowl sweet potatoes £1

Red cabbage £1

Cauliflower £1

Enoki mushrooms 40p

Total £4.90


Equipment: kitchen knife, paring knife, saucepan, pestle and mortar, wooden spoon, frying pan (optional). Wash, scrub or wipe all vegetables

No samphire this week on stall 58 but the stall-holder will offer the plant again if it is available at New Spitalfields Market in Leyton. Stall 58 is halfway along Ridley Road on the south (railway) side almost opposite the middle of the indoor-market building. This week’s mushrooms came from that stall.

Recipe: Vegetable Kashmiri. Serves 2. Preparation 30 mins, cooking 40 mins. 

Ingredients: 1 medium-size sweet potato, 1 onion, 1/4 cauliflower, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil. Spice ingredients: 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, 8 peppercorns, seeds from 2 cardamom pods, 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg, 1 dried chilli, 2.5cm peeled fresh ginger  — grated, 1 teaspoon chilli powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 150ml natural yoghurt, 150ml stock, toasted, flaked almonds optional.

Method: grind cumin seeds, peppercorns, cardamon seeds and chilli in a pestle and mortar or blender. Peel the sweet potato and chop into bite-size pieces. Break the cauliflower into bite-size florets and peel and thinly slice the onion. Grate the ginger.

Put the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion and ginger for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the ground spices and nutmeg and mix. Cook over gentle heat for 2 minutes. Add all the vegetables, stirring them around so they are covered in the spices. Cook for 10 minutes add the stock and yoghurt, and bring to the boil. Then reduce heat and cook for about 25 mins. Lightly toast some flaked almonds in a frying pan to crisp them and then sprinkle the almonds over the curry. Serve with lemony rice.

The other ingredients in my basket will be added to grains, pulses and pasta dishes. That enormous red cabbage will last for weeks. Red cabbage makes a rich coleslaw, but it must be shredded very finely, and it makes a tasty pickle. Though the cabbage takes about two hours to cook, it is great braised in red wine with chestnuts or apples. When cooking red cabbage adding something acidic helps it to keep its colour. The longer this cabbage is cooked, the more the flavour matures.

I’m not sure of the Kashmir connection but, given that the mountainous region is said to be one of the Indian subcontinent’s most beautiful areas, it makes for an evocative name.

Extraordinary haul, and for less than a fiver: the Rambling down Ridley Road basket

Tip: as well as the above, there are excellent buys in the market this week, including two packets of blueberries at £1.50, a box of lychees £4.50 and a sack of oranges £1. All of it is labelled, so the buyer knows where the fruit has been grown and packaged.

Shooey 150213

Previous articles hyperlinked:

Samphire surprise 8 February 2013

Two dishes from £5 1 February 2013

Ae fond neep 25 January 2013

Cauliflower cheese 18 January 2013

A Hackney frittata 11 January 2013  

Tasty and easy Christmas snack 21 December 2012

Roasted, stuffed squash, 12 October 2012
Roasted, stuffed squash, 12 October 2012

The shops behind the market stalls 9 November 2012

Chutney 2 November 2012 

Piccalilli 26 October 2012

Golden soup 19 October 2012

Roasted, stuffed squash 12 October 2012

Vegetable curry 5 October 2012

Carrot and coriander soup 28 September 2012

Ratatouille Gypsy stew 21 September 2012

Bubble and squeak Shooey style,

Bakewell pudding 14 September 2012

Coleslaw and radishes 7 September 2012

Turkish spinach pie 31 August 2012;

Tomato tart, marinated aubergines, fresh mango chutney 24 August 2012;

Roasted butternut squash soup and beetroot salad 17 August 17 2012;

From a fiver in the market: the column launched 15 August 2012

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