Aromatic Carrot Salad

Carrots must be one of the most oft used vegetables in our kitchen. They seem to fuse with almost any dish – steamed, baked, braised, or fried; diced, slivered, sliced, or Julienned; Italian, Chinese, British, Dutch, or Japanese. And they also make wonderful salads. This is a particularly favoured one, with a nice Indian twist. In fact, the spices are so aromatic, Ryusho, who doesn’t even like carrots loved this one, confessing that he couldn’t taste the carrots any more.

Curry leaves and dried kaffir lime peel should be easy to find in Indian or Asian markets, if not in regular supermarkets. Both are wonderfully aromatic, and mustard seeds, which might taste bitter when raw, are remarkably sweet after roasting. Just make sure they are evenly fried – they’re usually ready when they’ve stop spitting and turned one shade darker.

Serve alongside lentil dhal and steamed basamati rice.

Aromatic Carrot Salad
Aromatic Carrot Salad

500 g carrots (about 4-5 medium)
1 red or green chilli
⅓ cup (6 tablespoons) full-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Dash sea salt
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons brown, whole mustard seeds
8 curry leaves, dried or fresh
¼ teaspoon asafoetida powder
¼ teaspoon ground dried kaffir lime peel
1 tablespoon sugar, or the equivalent in stevia
4 tablespoons chopped peanuts or cashews
4 tablespoons blue raisins

  • Peel and grate the carrots.
  • Mince the chilli.
  • Grind the kaffir lime peel into a powder using a pestle and mortar, or in a dedicated coffee grinder. (Store any surplus in an airtight container for next time.)
  • Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, and salt.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan on low-medium flame. Stir in the mustard seeds, chilli and curry leaves. Cover with a splatter guard, stirring now and then, and fry until the mustard seeds stop popping furiously and have turned one shade darker. Stir in the asafoetida powder, ground kaffir lime, and sugar.  Take off the heat, leave to cool a few minutes, then mix through the yogurt.
  • Combine the spiced yogurt with the grated carrots, chopped peanuts and raisins.
  • Leave the salad to marinate for 30 minutes before serving. It also keeps well in the fridge, covered, for a couple of days.
Dried curry leaves &  kaffir lime peel

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