Honey-roasted parsnips with red onion, panch phoron, chilli, garlic and parsley

Hot, sweet, garlicky and bright with parsley and lemon – the good old parsnip is far more interesting in this company. A real revelation, in fact. The whole winter I’ve been roasting it with honey, red onions and panch phoron. I add the chillies and garlic when the parsnips and onions are nearly done (so that they don’t burn). Sometimes I roast the chillies and garlic only briefly, and sometimes a little longer, depending on how strong I want these flavours to be. I finish off with a sprinkling of parsley, and a squeeze of lemon. Life is always brighter with lemon.

Early March is a funny time when it comes to seasonal produce. It sits in between the end of winter, and the start of spring, there just isn’t that much around. It helps to have a few interesting things to make with the omnipresent staples such as parsnips. Though good enough to eat on its own as a warm salad, this dish also makes a perfect accompaniment to roast beef. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Panch phoron is a Bengali mixture of spices which consists of equal quantities of fenugreek, nigella, mustard, cumin and fennel seeds. The notes of cumin and fennel are most important here, so you can swap a mixture of these two spices if you don’t have panch phoron.

Honey-roasted parsnips with red onion, panch phoron, chilli, garlic and parsley

SOURCE: Own recipe



SERVES: 2 as a side dish, or 1 for lunch

2 medium parsnips, peeled, sliced and hard centre removed

2 small red onions, peeled and cut into 1/8

1 – 2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp panch phoron

2 tsp honey

salt and pepper

2 large long red chillies, sliced (deseeded if you prefer)

4 m cloves of garlic, sliced

2 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley

a squeeze of lemon

  • Pre-heat the oven to 220 C.
  • Mix together the parsnips, onions, oil, panch phoron, honey, salt and pepper, and roast for 25 min.


  • Add the sliced chillies and garlic and stir together. Roast for another 5 – 10 min. 5 for a stronger garlic flavour, 10 for a more mellow one.
  • Stir through some chopped parsley and squeeze over some lemon. Serve as a side dish, or a warm salad main course. Enjoy!

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  1. such a beautiful presentation and a great idea to add panch phoron. Will try it.



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