Carrots with coriander, cumin and mint

Carrots with coriander, cumin and mint

Looking for a simple, tasty and exotic vegetable side dish? This easy-to-make and remarkably tasty Middle Eastern carrot dish could fit the bill.

The cooking process is as straightforward as boiling some carrots (which have been cut into batons) and tossing them with a mixture that includes ground cumin, coriander and fresh mint. These seasonings really brings out the carrots’ natural sweetness.

You can use pre-ground spices if you want, but we know from our own experience that it doesn’t taste anywhere near as good. Lightly toasting whole cumin and coriander seeds before grinding them with a mortar and pestle releases their distinct taste and fragrance and adds a wonderful aromatic burst of flavor to the dish. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle then you can grind the seeds in a spice or coffee grinder instead. Failing that, you could even use the bottom of a heavy pan to crush the spices. (There’s no need for the spices to be finely ground because a bit of texture actually works well with this dish.)

For something a little more showy, use whole baby carrots if you can get them and keep some of their green tops attached for some contrasting color. This dish can also be served hot or cold.

Carrots with coriander, cumin and mint
Serves 4
Tender cooked carrots tossed with a coriander, cumin and fresh mint dressing.
3 carrots — peeled and ends removed
1½ teaspoons cumin seeds
¾ teaspoon coriander seeds
¾ teaspoon salt
½ garlic clove — minced
1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
CUT each carrot in half, then cut each half lengthwise into equal-sized batons. BOIL the carrots for 7 minutes until just tender. WHILE the carrots are cooking, place the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry pan and lightly toast for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally (when you start to smell the spices you know they're ready). REMOVE from the heat and put the seeds into a mortar and pestle and roughly grind them, leaving a little bit of texture. ADD the salt, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice and mix together until well combined. TOSS the mixture with the carrots and mint to thoroughly coat.