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
- 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).
- Add the garlic and chillies and cook for another minute, then the cinnamon and cumin and cook for a further minute.
- Add everything else except the pistachios and herbs, and bring to the boil.
- 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.
- Taste for seasoning and balance; the mixture should be sweet and savoury.
- Stir in the pistachios and herbs and serve.