Cumin-scented carrots

Cumin-scented carrots

By
From
Real Food by Mike
Serves
4
Photographer
Alan Benson

Baby carrots are delicious and have a lovely delicate shape. However, if you have garden carrots, they work just as well. I suggest you cut them into manageable shapes as the bigger they are the longer they will take to cook. The key thing about this recipe is cooking things fast in the pan and not having to add too much liquid. These carrots are delicious with fish and would make a perfect match for the Red mullet, café de Paris butter and cured roe or with lamb.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 bouquet garni
600g baby carrots, trimmed and scrubbed
1 teaspoon caster sugar
10g cumin seeds
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1 orange, juiced
crusty bread, to serve
50g butter

Method

  1. Prepare your bouquet garni by tying the herb stalks and bay leaf together with string or wrapping them in a piece of muslin (cheesecloth) and securing the bundle with string.
  2. Place the carrots, sugar, cumin seeds, garlic and oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and stir well. Top the pan up with enough water to just cover the carrots. Add the salt and bouquet garni and bring to the boil.
  3. Prepare a circle of baking paper, cut to fit the diameter of the pan. Pierce a few holes in it to allow the steam to escape and spread it with some butter. Place it on top of the pan, butter side down, to keep the carrots submerged during cooking. Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes to reduce the water and cook the carrots. Test to see if the carrots are cooked with the end of a knife – if they’re tender, remove the cartouche and bouquet garni. Add the orange juice and the butter and simmer for 2–5 minutes until it all has a nice sheen. Serve straight from the pan with crusty bread to mop up the juices.

Medicinal Benefit

  • Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the body from harmful free-radical damage. It also carries out the functions of vitamin A, contributing to eye health, sperm production and tissue health. Carrots also contain good levels of vitamin C, and of vitamin B6, which helps make red blood cells. Cumin seeds’ essential oils activate the salivary glands (aiding digestion) and the glands that secrete bile. The spice is also a calmative (it can help with insomnia), has detoxifying properties and is very rich in iron. It’s great for breast-feeding mothers (who need more iron than others), and those with anaemia.
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