Let me preface this post by saying that I am a complete novice when it comes to Moroccan cuisine. I have been to a Moroccan restaurant, enjoyed the tagine, and otherwise my exposure to the food has been through Al Fez brand jarred sauces. That said, we do keep those sauces on hand in case we need an easy weeknight dinner, or are just too lazy to go out. Tonight was one such night, so to go with our jarred sauce and couscous I made some sautéed carrots. These were tasty enough that I decided I might actually want some record of what the heck I did when I was making them. This is also why there aren’t many carrots in the photo. I was not expecting them to be blog-worthy tasty, so no picture until we had each gotten some. Oops.
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4″ thick rounds
1 tsp ghee or butter
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp Ras el Hanout (spice blend-we bought ours, but you could get close with a mix of cumin, ginger, pinch of cayenne, cardamom, cloves, allspice, and paprika. Or you could probably use a garam masala, add some paprika and cayenne and call it good)
Pinch ground ginger and ceylon cinnamon
1 tbsp dried parsley, or 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp tomato paste or ajvar (pepper and eggplant past that is AMAZING)
1/4 cup water
Salt and pepper
Heat oils in a medium skillet (with a lid) over medium heat. Add carrots and a pinch of salt and sauté until they start to soften slightly. Add seasonings, ajvar (or paste) and water, and slap the lid on. Let simmer until carrots are soft, then remove lid and let the sauce thicken. As you can see in the photo, you want the spices to stick to the carrots. This was a really nice, very easy side dish for our lazy tagine night. The Ras al Hanout provided a nice back of the mouth heat which was a nice counterpoint to the sweet of the carrot. The ginger and cinnamon played up that sweet angle, while the parsley helped keep the entire mixture from becoming too cloying. All in all, a really nicely balanced side dish.