Thursday, May 20, 2010


How sad is it when a grown woman gets excited about a bowl of carrots?  Very, very sad!  I am a very, very sad case, because these carrots made me very excited.

A number of years ago we had a fantastic meal at the Farmgate Cafe in Midleton, Co. Cork, everything we ate was wonderful but the highlight for me was a fabulous dish of sweet, savoury, buttery but not oily carrots.  I have tried many times to replicate the taste, I used cumin, orange juice, honey but couldn't get them just right.

Roll on to another acquisition for my groaning cook book shelves - Heston Blumenthal's "Family Food" and his recipe for Carrots Glazed with Cumin and Orange, and a "eureka" moment, perfect delicious carrots.

Firstly Heston says that orange juice shouldn't be used when cooking carrots as the acid interferes with the cooking process (I love learning new stuff!!), and that orange zest gives the flavour while retaining the correct texture.  He also uses cardamom in this recipe - I hadn't thought of cardamom, what a great idea, it works beautifully.

I have (of course!!) simplified the recipe, and this is what I did.  Please give them a go, they are so much better than a bowl of steamed carrots with a knob of butter on top.  Another plus point for them is the fact that there is relatively little fat used in the recipe but they taste really buttery and indulgent.

Carrots Glazed with Cumin and Orange

750g         peeled carrots (I think organic are worth the extra money)
1               clove garlic
2 tsp         cumin
2 or 3       cardamom pods
8               sprigs fresh thyme
2 tbsp        olive oil
1 tbsp        butter
2 tsp          caster sugar
zest from 1 orange, in large pieces (remove carefully with a potato peeler, with as little of the white pith as possible)
salt and black pepper

Slice the carrots into 1cm (1/2 inch) rounds - they look better sliced diagonally.
Heat your pot without any oil and when hot add the cumin and cardamom seeds (which you have removed from the pods), toast them for a minute or two until they release a beautiful smell.
Add the oil, butter, garlic (I grate it in, you could crush it), thyme and  the carrots.
Turn the heat down to medium and sweat the carrots for 5 minutes.
Add the sugar and about 1 tbsp of water and the orange zest.
Cover with a lid and cook until tender - keep an eye on them and add a little more water if necessary.
When cooked remove the lid and reduce any liquid if necessary.
Season and serve.

These carrots reheat beautifully.


P.S. Once again please excuse the photo, a few servings were grabbed before I could manage to capture it!!!


Rhyleysgranny said...

Well I am also very sad as I got really excited too when I saw you had a recipe for carrots. I too have been trawling around for years trying to find the perfect way to cook the humble carrot. I will be giving this a go. Interesting about the orange juice isn't it? Actually that pic is lovely. I'd love to grab some off the plate but I expect they are long gone. Ah well x

Brownieville Girl said...

LOL Granny!! I get my excitement where I can!!!!!

Please do try them, I'd love to know what you think!

Pam said...

I love this with the cardamom and must try it. My husband loves carrots and says I don't cook them nearly often enough so I know he would love this. Your recipe certainly beats steamed carrots and is healthy to boot!

Lucie said...

I am with you on the excitement front! These look delish BVG - I will definitely try these (I say that for every post you make!! lol)

Jannett said...

Love carrots will be trying this recipe.... :)

Melanie Heavenly said...

This looks amazing - I NEVER know what to do with carrots other than glaze them with sugar and butter. Can't wait to try this out. Thanks!

Bigarade said...

Ive made these before!
and i can understand your excitement they taste DELISH!!

. said...

i love carrots :) but i usually just throw them into water and cook them until they're squashy :) the recipe looks very delicious and i can't wait to give it a try :)