I must have first tried this recipe in the 1980s, it is hand-written in an old jotter that I used to copy out some recipes clipped from newspapers. I remember collecting recipes from the Sunday Times; they ran a series by Madhur Jaffrey about regional recipes around the Indian subcontinent.
I have some very large carrots still to harvest this year. I grew a yellow variety that has a very firm flesh ideal for adding to stews, and for this dish. There’ll be more carrot-based dishes to come. Most spices are available in local shops. I bought some of them from Seasoned Pioneers, who retail spices online.
- 500g carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cm ginger root (or 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/8 tsp asafoetida
- 2 hot green chillies
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 20g chopped dill leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Peel and slice the carrots, peel and finely chop the ginger
- Heat the oil in a karhai or wok over a medium heat. When it is hot, add in sequence the cumin seeds, asafoetida, ginger and whole chillies, stirring between each addition.
- As the ginger begins to brown, add the sliced carrots, coriander and turmeric. Stir and fry for a couple of minutes
- Add the dill and salt, turn the heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook for another couple of minutes, until the carrots are cooked.
- Remove the carrots from the oil and drain away most of the oil.
This is delicious as a side dish, with rice and a range of other curries. Last night I was just on my own so I had it with a little bit of nan and yoghurt.
A middle-eastern dish that is very much more delicious than you might suspect.
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 1 red onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 potato, peeped and diced
- 1 large tomato, peeled and diced
- 225g green cabbage, cut into 1.2 cm squares
- 50g chopped dill leaves
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp salt, or more, to taste
- Black pepper
- Put the chickpeas, onion and 850ml water into a large pot, and bring to a simmer, and cook for an hour.
- Add the potato, tomato, cabbage, dill, tomato paste, salt and another 100ml water. Bring to the boil, cover and turn the heat to very low, simmer until the potato is cooked.
- Add the black pepper to taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve.
Cooking quickly to avoid being inside when the weather is good. I combined a 400g bag of new potatoes, boiled in their skins and chopped, with a bag of beans from East camp, cooked for 5 minutes in boiling water. I added some chopped dill, spring onions and mayonnaise.
Salmon is what you need to serve with this.
I can hardly wait to tell you about this recipe, or to eat it again. It is delicious, and dangerously garlicky, so I think I will be in trouble at work tomorrow. I made it with tinned beans, but the original recipe starts from scratch. I got the recipe from the remarkable book, Nightingales and Roses. These are recipes from all over Iran, organised by seasonal availability of ingredients. Where she wins over my other current favourite book, Jerusalem, is her serving suggestions.
- 1 can of cannellini or borlotti beans
- 50g butter
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 small bulb of garlic, with the cloves peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 3 tsp of dill seed, or 5 tsp dried dill weed, or 30g fresh dill, chopped
- salt, to taste
- 4 eggs
- Melt the butter in a medium lidded frying pan, add the oil and then the chopped garlic, and fry until the garlic is turning golden.
- Add the turmeric, pepper, dill, and salt, and then add the can of beans including the water they are in.
- Bring to a simmer, and cook, until the mixture is getting drier and thicker.
- Make 4 wells in the bean mixture, and into each well, break an egg. Cover the pan and cook on a low heat until the eggs are cooked to your liking.
The book suggests serving this with a little rice, with side dishes of olives, chopped radishes, smoked fish. We were not so dainty, and served this with a side salad with herbs and some bread, olives and labneh.