The Really WILD Food Guide


Dandelion & Orange Curry

They may be one of the commonest weeds available to the outdoor cook but dandelion leaves are bitter at the best of times, and the roots sometimes even more so. This recipe came about as a way of neutralising that bitterness.


Select two good handfuls of dandelion leaves per person. The younger the leaves are the less bitter. Remove the thickest bits of stalk material. If using the roots select thicker lateral ones rather than the nobbly taproots. The best way of removing the root rind is by rubbing with something like a clean pan scrubber, though scraping with the edge of a knife
will also do.

In the absence of yoghurt try a spot of cream - as happened in the case with the original preparation of this recipe. The curry can be thickened through the addition of potato or some other flour based thickener.

  Dandelion leaves / roots
1 small onion
Cumin, turmeric, chilli powder - pinches
Butter or oil
1 orange
Water or stock
Yoghurt [or cream]
Salt and pepper

[Main ingredients above are approx. per person, but obviously variable according to taste and circumstance.]




· Place the dandelion leaves and stripped roots in a bowl and pour boiling water over. Allow to steep for about 5 minutes. Discard the water and repeat. Check taste and repeat one final time if still too bitter to taste. · Drain and set aside.

· Meanwhile... Slice the onion and lightly fry along with pinches of the spices. Set aside.
· Peel and segment the orange keeping back a few segments to be added in the latter stages of cooking. Squeeze any juice left in the pithy remains to add to the curry.

· Put the pan back on a medium heat and stir in the orange segments and juice. Add a little extra stock or water [about ½ cup]. · Simmer for a few minutes then add the dandelion, stirring the mixture gently. · Cook for another couple of minutes then stir in a good dollop of plain yoghurt and add the remaining orange segments. · Remove from the heat, season, and allow flavours to infuse. · Serve with rice or potatoes.

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