Burns Night and my birthday are on the same day, which, over the years, has been both a blessing and a curse – a curse in that I haven’t always wanted to eat haggis, neeps and tatties or read poetry on 25 January, and a blessing in that there’s always been a pre-set suggestion on the birthday party idea-o-meter that’s more interesting than the usual: “Pub?” In any case, this year I am embracing it fully, merging Burns’ love for haggis and tatties with my love of Indian kheema and rotis, and so forming the inaugural Burns-Sodha birthday meal of haggis kheema and tattie rotis.
Haggis kheema and tattie rotis
Treat the haggis and roti recipes separately, if you wish (and if you’re short of time, you could always buy wheat rotis). The dish is built around Macsween’s vegetarian haggis, which you’ll need to buy – it’s widely available in most supermarkets.
Prep 20 min
Cook 1 hr 10 min
For the tattie rotis
300g maris piper potatoes, peeled and cut into 3cm cubes (250g net weight)
1 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus 1 tsp extra for frying the rotis
½ tsp nigella seeds
125g plain white flour, plus extra for dusting
For the haggis kheema
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 medium leek (250g), finely sliced
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 Indian green finger chillies, very finely chopped
1kg vegan haggis
2 tsp ground coriander
2½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp turmeric
100g non-dairy yoghurt – I like Coconut Collaborative
1 large handful (10g) fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 large handful (15g) fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Bring a small pan of water to a rolling boil, drop in the potatoes and cook for 12 minutes, or until tender. Drain and leave to dry in the colander. When dry, put the cooked potatoes back into the same pan, add the oil, half a teaspoon of salt and the nigella seeds, and mash really well. Add the flour and knead with your hands until the mix comes together into a uniform ball of dough.
Lightly flour a work surface and lay out a large sheet of greaseproof paper. Cut the roti dough into four equal pieces. Take one piece of dough, roll it out into a 6cm-diameter circle (dip the rolling pin in flour if need be), then transfer to the paper and repeat with the remaining dough.
Heat a teaspoon of oil in a large, nonstick frying pan and, when hot, lay in the rotis and cook for about a minute and a half on each side, until blackened in places and there are no uncooked, doughy spots – as the pan starts to heat up, the roti will cook more quickly, so you may need to reduce the cooking time and/or heat. Cover the cooked rotis with foil and set aside while you make the kheema.
In the same frying pan, heat the oil for the kheema over a medium heat. When hot, add the leek and onion, and cook for about eight minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the ginger, garlic and chillies, stir to mix and cook for two minutes more.
Crumble in the haggis and cook, stirring frequently, for about eight minutes – it may stick to the pan, but persevere. Stir in the ground coriander, cumin, turmeric and yoghurt, cook for a further four minutes, then taste for seasoning. Add salt a quarter-teaspoon at a time, mixing and tasting after each addition, then stir in the fresh herbs and serve hot with the rotis.