Uzbeki carrots


Every now and then it’s good to spotlight the humble carrot. This is a fantastic recipe by Diana Henry: “it’s just carrots, but not as you’ve ever had them before”. The flavour is sensational. I don’t bother with the honey though – too sweet. You can buy dried barberries and affordable saffron at Ozmen. Serve the carrot stew with rice or couscous (couscous + quinoa mixed together is great for added protein) and a dollop of yogurt. The pistachio addition is lovely but not vital.


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and cut into slim wedges
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 green chillies, deseeded and shredded
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 600g carrots, cut into batons
  • 75g currants
  • 1 tbsp dried barberries
  • ¼ tsp saffron stamens
  • 350ml of veg or chicken stock, or water (plus more if needed)
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tsp runny honey (optional, to taste)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp shelled unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander or mint leaves


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion over a medium heat until golden, then add the tomatoes and cook until they are beginning to soften (about three minutes).
  2. Add the garlic and chillies and cook for another minute, then the cinnamon and cumin and cook for a further minute.
  3. Add everything else except the pistachios and herbs, and bring to the boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer the carrots until totally tender, about 25 mins. The mixture should remain moist but not be swimming in juice. If it gets too dry, add a little more stock or water. If it is too sloppy, whack the heat up and boil off some of the liquid.
  5. Taste for seasoning and balance; the mixture should be sweet and savoury.
  6. Stir in the pistachios and herbs and serve.