Portrait of a Pretty Pink Carrot

These pretty pink carrots are exclusively available in the winter months in Northern India, and eagerly waited upon to be snapped up by eager foodies like us. Their irresistible color adds a rosy flair to dozens of dishes, in both dinner and dessert spreads. Light raspberry pink in color, long and spindly in form, they taste mildly sweet and juicy, and are eaten both raw and cooked – in salads, breads, stir-fries and halwas. When we laid our hands this month on the first bunch of the season, we wanted to make a dish that would highlight their every facet before they disappeared into a warm salad with early peas or melted into a blush milk broth.

We cut them into fingers, added a few select spices to bring out their peppery nuances and when we roasted them, the flare of their rouge morphed into gorgeous rusty reds, and streaks of golden yellow emerged from the pale insides. With the kick of the spices providing a foil to the sweetness and zest of the carrots, it took only a few freckles of sesame to make them the star of the meal that night.

Sesame Carrot Sticks with Garam Masala

(Serves 4)

  • 6 Pink carrots or a Pound of regular carrots
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame* or light olive oil
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ¼ Teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/8 Teaspoon red chilli powder or cayenne
  • Tiny pinch of turmeric
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon sesame seeds
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/220°C. Line a baking sheet with foil and grease well or just use parchment paper.
  2. Wash and dry the carrots. Trim the top and bottom ends and lightly scrape the skins. Cut them into sticks all about the same size. Pink carrots are almost a foot long – cut them into halves, and leave the top half whole if it is not too thick. Split the bottom part into 2 and then each of those pieces into 2 or 3 sticks.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the oil, salt, garam masala and turmeric.
  4. Lay out the carrots on the baking sheet and brush with the spiced oil. Toss well and then spread them out in a single layer. Add a few twists of fresh cracked black pepper.
  5. Place in the middle rack of the oven. Roast for about 25-30 minutes or until tender, tossing once.
  6. Take the carrots out, sprinkle the sesame seeds and return to the oven for 8 minutes. Serve warm.

* Use sesame oil available in Indian stores here and not toasted sesame oil.

We like to serve these on their own, at the start of the meal or as a side with a simple lentil stew and steamed rice.

Find more Indian-inspired recipes using everyday ingredients in our new eBook – MANGO MASALA: 60 Indian Recipes From Your Local Supermarket..now available on Amazon.com.

Mango Masala - 60 Indian Recipes From Your Local Supermarket

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15 Responses to Portrait of a Pretty Pink Carrot

  1. Excellent tips & method about recipes, you have a wide range of indian recipes list available, helpful site – thanks
    Indian Racipes

  2. These look delectable! I don’t think I’ve ever seen such pretty carrots…

  3. I just bought a big bag of carrots and was unsure of what exactly to do with them… I have everything I need here except for the sesame seeds. Do you think it would be okay without them?

    • Tadka Pasta says:

      Yes, you can do away with the sesame seeds, and perhaps you can sub with a dusting of coarsely powdered nuts or, maybe even Parmesan cheese? We’re all for experimenting! :) Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Pingback: A Very Merry Christmas! « My Bizzy Kitchen

  5. gold price says:

    Until tonight. I had a leftover bag of carrots that I needed to cook. I decided to roast them. I’d seen them roasted with just olive oil, salt and pepper and maybe an herb or two, but I wanted something else. Something less than brown sugar but more than just carrot.

  6. Lina@Word says:

    I tried out this gajar-til dish tonight on the gas stove and it came out pretty yummy AND fragrant. Many thanks for a different take on boring ol carrot! Am new to this page but will look out now.

  7. Karen u says:

    What a delicious recipe. It sounds so wonderful, I can’t wait to try it. I do love garam masala, but never thought to roast carrots with it. And your writing about food is so wonderfully descriptive, it’s like a romance novel ;)

  8. Pingback: Deditos de Zanahoria con Garam Masala y Labne | Fenicia

  9. Ashley says:

    These were awesome and yummy! A nice alternative to french fries.

  10. Traci says:

    I’ve had this recipe saved for a while and finally made it tonight. I somehow made my smoke detector go off (ha! that makes it sound like I don’t cook a lot, which I DO), but other than that so easy and delicious!

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