- Macknade Fine Foods

Small Differences Pt 1

There’s plenty to consider at the moment as we move into a totally new kind of year. Lockdown is upon us once again, and in the short term, that means home-schooling and plenty of cooking at home.

In the longer term, many of us are thinking about how and what we consume, looking even harder at our usual yearly resolutions. When it comes to food, the key areas of concern remain and only continue to grow: waste management, plastic, how much meat we eat – or if we eat meat at all, industrialisation, automation, and so on. The joy of shopping locally is that often, at this local level, many of these issues are obsolete, or feedback can be delivered directly to drive improvements.

At Macknade, we are constantly evolving in areas where we know we can make small, local differences that support bigger global shifts: from our selection of loose, seasonal and local fruit & veg, to our dry goods dispensers, refill stations and sustainable butchery and fish counter.

In a three-part series this month, we offer a recipe for starter, main and dessert, inspired by small differences. Get to know these areas of our stores and cook along with us! Even better, if you’d like to join our cooking club to share your own attempts at these dishes, or your own, you can do so via Facebook here.

First up is Sprout Bhajis, shining a light on the humble brussels sprout, which is usually reserved for Christmas dinner only and is actually in season until the middle of Feb. If you’re not a fan, this recipe works just as well with celeriac, carrot or potato too…


Sprout Bhajis

30 minutes to prepare
Serves 4
Print Recipe


  • For the bhajis
  • 200g loose, local sprouts, shredded
  • 1 loose, local shallot, shredded
  • 200g gram flour
  • 25g plain flour
  • 1 loose, green chilli, halved, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp brown cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 200ml sparkling water
  • 250ml vegetable oil or olive oil - from our refill dispensers located at the cheese counter
  • For the dip
  • 150ml ottie’s natural yoghurt from our dispenser, located on the cheese counter, or vegan alternative
  • Fresh, loose mint, finely chopped
  • To serve
  • Sea salt
  • Wedge of lemon


  1. Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl
  2. Whisk in sparkling water a small amount at a time until you have a smooth batter
  3. Stir in sprouts, chilli and shallot, coating thoroughly
  4. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan, no more than a third full, over a medium-high heat
  5. Heap a spoonful of the mixture at a time into the pan, flattening them with the back of a spoon if you would like them extra crispy
  6. Fry for a couple of minutes on each side until golden brown and remove with a slotted spoon, placing them on a plate and in a warm oven if you are frying in batches
  7. Serve with yoghurt mixed with fresh mint and nigella seeds, a good sprinkling of sea salt and a wedge of lemon. They also taste delicious with chutney - particularly mango.

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