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.
We have lots of delicious potatoes, so when my daughter came over, we cooked this curry. It uses coconut milk along with spices to make a fragrant curry. We served this with a salad of grated beetroot, flavoured with toasted cumin, and dressed with lemon juice and salt.
- 3 tbsp rapeseed oil, or other vegetable oil
- 1 tsp whole black mustard seeds
- 1 tsp yellow split peas
- 2 whole dried birds-eye chillies
- 10 basil leaves
- 1/2 can chopped tomatoes, or a couple of medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- a small pinch of cayenne
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 400g potatoes (we used charlotte) and 100g carrots (we used yellow carrots) – cut into 2cm large chunks
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 can coconut milk
- Chopped coriander leaves
- In a medium saucepan, heat up the oil and then add the mustard seeds, yellow split peas and chillies. After a minute or so, they’ll start popping. Add the onions and basil leaves as soon as this happens. Turn the heat down a bit and cook until the onion has softened.
- Add the coriander, cayenne, tomatoes and garam masala, and stir to mix. Add the potatoes and carrots along with around 250ml water and the salt, bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat for 15+ minutes
- When the potatoes are cooked, add the coconut milk and fresh coriander leaves, and heat through, stirring.
- Serve with other dishes, for example a salad, or dal, or a kale dish.
There are so many fresh vegetables in the garden it is hard to keep up. Tonight I made a light stir-fry of home grown vegetables. It is good hot or cold.
- 1 small cabbage, cored, quartered, and sliced into ribbons around 1.5 cm wide.
- 1 large or 2 medium carrots, cut on the slant and each slice cut into thin strips
- 3 spring onions, cut into 3 cm lengths, which are then cut lengthways into thin strips
- 3 tbsp light vegetable oil
- 2 slices of fresh ginger, lightly crushed
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp dry sherry
- Heat the oil in a wok, and then add the ginger, stir it about and then add all of the vegetables. Stir them round and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the sherry, cover and cook for another 3 minutes
- For the last minute, uncover and boil of some of the liquid before serving. Remove the slices of ginger as well.
Super tasty as part of a larger meal.
This year has been a good year for me growing beetroot and carrots, so I made this salad. I think you could also add other root vegetables, for example celeriac. I also thought about adding pumpkin seeds for a bit of crunch.
- Around 600g of root vegetables, for example carrots and beetroot
- 1 red onion or 2 shallots
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- mixture of chopped herbs – parsley, mint, coriander leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Peel and grate the vegetables on a coarse setting, and mix in a bowl
- Finely chop the onion, and mix them with the grated vegetables
- Toast the cumin seeds for about a minute and add to the vegetables
- Chop the herbs and add them to the vegetables
- Mix the salt, olive oil, lemon juice and pour over the vegetables. Let the mixture sit for around half an hour before serving.
This is good with a sharp cheese.
The last of last year’s carrots, and the best of this spring’s eggs, with some fantastic pasta from the co-op. I pulled the inspiration for this recipe from one of my older recipe books, The Quick After-Work Vegetarian Cookbook. It has several ‘go-to’ recipes in it, but I often tweak them to suit my taste. This one, I tweaked the quantities to suit two quite hungry people.
INGREDIENTS (PER PERSON):
- 1 carrot
- 1 egg
- 25g butter
- 75g pasta
- 25g pecorino
- 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
- salt and freshly grated black pepper
- Put a pan of salted water on to boil while you prepare the other ingredients.
- When the water comes to the boil, add the pasta, and cook as instructed on the pack, usually around 8 minutes.
- Peel and chop the carrot finely.
- Melt the butter, and add the dried tarragon and carrots, cook gently for around 7 minutes until the carrots are tender.
- Beat the eggs and then add the grated cheese, a pinch of salt and a good grating of pepper.
- When the pasta is done, drain it, return it to the hot pan, add the hot carrots and butter and then stir in the cheese and eggs, which will cook in the heat of the pasta.
- Serve in warmed plates. The egg should still be a little runny, like the centre of an omelette.
A light, sharp-flavoured green salad and a light fresh white wine would go well with this.
This is a lovely lemony dish, good as a side-serving with sausages and mash. It could be served at room temperature with bread for a light lunch.
- 500g leeks, sliced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, cut in half lengthways then thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp basmati rice
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 240 ml hot water
- 1 tsp sugar, or date syrup
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper
- In a wide heavy frying-pan, heat the oil over a medium heat and fry the onions and carrots for 3 minutes or so. Then add the leeks and rice, and stir to combine.
- Add the hot water, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper, and stir again.
- Cover the pan and simmer over a low heat for around 20 minutes. Set aside to cool with the lid on.
This is good garnished with chopped parsley.
I was a bit late in thinning my carrots this year, so I have a lot of finger-sized carrots. I used a Moroccan-style dressing for a delicious side-dish.
- 200g finger-sized carrots
- 1/2 tsp toasted ground cumin
- 1 small clove of garlic
- juice of around 1/2 small lemon
- 2 tsp olive oil
- a tiny bit of honey, to taste
- coriander leaves
- Clean the carrots and boil them for around 5 minutes, until tender. Set aside to cool a bit
- In a pestle and mortar, crush the clove of garlic with a pinch of salt and the cumin, then add the lemon juice, honey and olive oil.
- Pour the dressing over the warm carrots and coriander leaves, mixing well.
So delicious. I tried this recipe from the marvellous book, ‘Nightingales and Roses’ by Maryam Sinaiee. I had to order the grapes pickled in brine from Persepolis in Peckham. They also have excellent quality saffron and other essential Persian spices. If you can’t get pickled grapes, something else sour would do, such as lime or lemon juice, or small gooseberries.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- around 400g boned lamb, for example, leg steaks or boned shoulder, cut into fairly large chunks.
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- a pinch of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 25g butter
- 500g carrots (around 5 medium carrots) chopped into batons around 3cm long.
- a tiny pinch of saffron dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
- 4 tbsp pickled sour grapes.
- Over a medium heat, fry the onion in the olive oil, until beginning to brown.
- Add the meat, turmeric, cinnamon and cumin, and fry until the meat is browned.
- Stir in the tomato paste and salt, and stir and cook for another couple of minutes. Pour over enough boiling water to cover the meat, bring to a simmer and set to cook over a low heat for an hour and a quarter or so.
- Meanwhile, cut the carrots into batons and fry in the butter until beginning to caramelise at the edges.
- When the meat is almost cooked, combine with the carrots and add the saffron water, and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes or so.
- Check the seasoning, add the pickled grapes and stir. When you are sure the meat is really tender, serve with basmati rice.
We live on a small island, and although our local shops generally do very well for range and price of stock, some ingredients are hard to come by. I have some rather exotic recipe books, and so I have become better at substituting and messing around with recipes to make them fit.
Pomegranate molasses adds a fruity sharpness to the dish, and helps the dressing to stick to the carrots. The harissa is hot and fragrant at the same time.
This time, I had some random carrots, so I turned to Ottolenghi’s book, Simple, and adapted one of his ideas, and I made this. I served it with bread, cheese, and an aubergine dish.
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tbsp rose harissa (or ordinary harissa)
- 1 tbsp olive oil (or 50/50 melted butter and oil)
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 400g carrot batons
- Coriander leaves to garnish
- Heat the oven to 220C
- In a small bowl, mix the cumin, honey, harissa, oil and molasses with a good pinch of salt. It should be the consistency of mayonnaise.
- Add the carrot batons, and stir to coat in the mixture
- Line a baking sheet with tin foil, and spread out the carrots. Roast them for 15 minutes or so, until they are beginning to brown but still have some ‘bite’ to them.
Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with coriander leaves.
This is a classic going way way back to university. It is great with middle eastern meals.
- 2 or 3 large carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
- 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
- Juice of half a lemon
- A drizzle of olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Toast the cumin seeds in a small pan for a minute or two, and then lightly crush
- Mix the carrots and cumin seed, season with salt and pepper
- Just before serving, mix in the lemon juice and olive oil