This song needs no introduction as, whether a fan of musicals or not, everyone has seen Mary Poppins on television at least and then tried to say Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
The following post contains affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to you I can make a tiny bit of money to help support this blog. Thank you!
One night I cooked this for me girl and now me girls my wife!
(Oh! And a lovely girl she is too!)
….a challenge to come up with a plausible dish with a set of ingredients chosen purely for how they fit into a song title. However, after some extensive brainstorming in the glittering boardroom of Cabernet Towers and some culinary experimentation in our state-of-the-art theatrical test kitchen, we came up with the following (although it’s possibly more Dr Seuss than P.L. Travers.)
The inspiration from this Mary Poppins dish came from combining Indian potato flavours with poached eggs on potato rösti – with peas, cauliflower and flageolet beans worked in somehow!
What would have been your ideas for a dish for this song? Put your suggestions in the comments.
Don’t be put off by the number ingredients (spoonful of sugar not included), and there are some suggestions at the end of recipe in case you can’t find some of the spices easily.
Peel and par-boil the potatoes for about 7 minutes, drain, allow to cool. If you have the time, chill for half an hour to help the potatoes to firm up. This is a good time to poach your eggs and chill them in a bowl of iced water until later as well as prepping other ingredients.
Preheat your oven to 200C.
Melt the ghee in a small pan and, when sizzling hot, add the mustard seed, cumin seeds and asafoetida and fry the spices for a minute or so until the seeds have stopped popping. Take off the heat and add the remaining spices. Carefully, coarsely grate the potatoes into a bowl and gently fork through the butter spice mix. Form the potato mix into two rösti (by hand or using a 10cm mould) on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.
Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets and combine with the oil, cumin and salt and tip them into a small roasting dishes.
Put the rösti in the oven and, 5 minute later, the cauliflower. The rösti take 20 minutes and the cauliflower will be ready in about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the finely chopped onion to another teaspoon of melted ghee and cook until nicely caramelised. Add the fresh ginger and, after a minute or so, the cream, lemon juice, water and remaining spices. Simmer for 5 minutes before adding the frozen peas. Once the pan is bubbling again, stir through the flageolet. Add a little more water if the sauce thickens too much. Once these are warmed through and the peas cooked, check and adjust the seasoning and stir through the chopped coriander/cilantro.
If you’ve previously chilled your poached eggs, warm them for a minute in a pan of boiled water that’s been allowed to cool slightly. Of course, you may have the poise and control of Mary Poppins and fancy poaching your eggs whilst finishing everything off…
Serve up the rösti, topped with the bean curry and a poached egg. Garnish the plate with the cauliflower and more chopped coriander/cilantro and add a pinch of salt and ground cumin to the egg.
Hints and suggestions:
- Use a waxy potato (e.g. Charlotte) if possible – having said that, I used the more crumbly King Edwards as that’s what I had (just be careful not to over-do the par-boiling or crush them when grating.)
- You should always use a fat with a high smoke point when frying at a high temperature. Ghee, an Indian cooking butter, is perfect, although sunflower oil is also fine (and more health-conscious). I used clarified butter as an approximation to ghee as its quick and easy to make, has the same smoke point as ghee and I wanted the buttery flavour in the rösti.
- The spices mentioned are easily obtainable in most large supermarkets in the UK (where you also undoubtedly live closer to an Asian grocers than you may realise). In the US, if you’re struggling to find everything, play with the quantities of ground cumin and ground coriander until you get a balance you like.
- Go easy on the chilli powder in the rösti – the aim is background warmth rather than overpowering heat.
- On reflection, I would substitute wilted spinach for the beans and peas… but that wouldn’t be as funny!
You might also like this Mary Poppins inspired recipe: Chim Chimichurri!