Carrots so often get typecast as the homely aromatic necessity for soups, sauces and stews. However, with a little coaxing and some unexpected spicing, carrots make for a remarkable side dish, and a stand out at dinner time. For this recipe I gave my lonely carrots a kick start with some Indian spices and bright flavors —Becky
2-4 people as a side dish
whole carrots, peeled
canola or vegetable oil
Whole cumin seeds, or ground if thats all you have on hand
Brown mustard seeds
Cayenne pepper (optional, although reccomended)
Wash and peel carrots. Slice on a bias, into 1/4" thick medallions. Set aside.
In a skillet, heat oil over medium to medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and coriander, and saute until it becomes aromatic and cumin seeds barely start to color (if using ground cumin, just saute for a couple minutes until its very aromatic). Also, you'll notice the mustard seeds start to pop. That noise is an indicator you're on the right track. Just don't let them burn, and become bitter.
Add the carrots and toss to coat carrots with spices and oil. If pan seems too dry, you can add a light sprinkle of oil as necessary. Saute for a minute or so, and add water to the pan. Cover the pan, and allow to cook, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until carrots are a bit more tender.
After 5 minutes, remove the lid, and add the cayenne, turmeric, and salt. Toss the carrots, and saute for a few more minutes until water has cooked off. Add the honey and saute, allowing to carrots to start to caramelize. Don't stir around too much, you want the carrots to start to brown on the sides, and get some color. Once they get some caramelization, remove from heat and stir in the cilantro, and serve.