North African spicy carrot salad

North African spicy carrot salad

I know people who can’t stand carrots but, personally, I love them. When my son was a toddler, I must have prepared a tonne of carrot sticks, which I also munched throughout the day. When I’m cutting up carrots to cook, I often have to use an extra carrot or two because my son and I eat all the carrots in the course of preparing dinner.

Though I love raw carrots, I really can’t go past a good cooked carrot salad. When carrots are slowly braised, they become mellow and sweet. You can dress them very simply with oil, garlic and lemon juice, but I like them with a bit of spice added as well, which adds another whole dimension to the humble carrot salad.

This particular salad can also be made with pumpkin (another one of my favorite veggies) and served as a salad or crushed to make a pumpkin dip. When serving as a dip, I like to add some crumbled feta to it.

North African spicy carrot salad

Spicy carrot salad

Adapted from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

  • 6 large carrots (about 700 grams)
  • 3 tablespoons of light olive oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons harissa
  • ½ tablespoon of ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds (freshly ground)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 30 grams of rocket leaves
  • salt
  1. Put carrots in large pan and cover with water. Bring to boil and lower heat, simmer gently for about 20 minutes until carrots are just tender.
  2. Drain carrots (reserve carrot stock to freeze or use later), cool slightly and slice into 5 mm slices.
  3. While the carrots are cooking, make the dressing. Heat 1½ tablespoons of oil in a large fry pan and saute onions on medium heat until golden brown (about 10–15 minutes).
  4. Tip onion into large mixing bowl, add harissa, cumin, carraway seeds, ¾ teaspoon salt, sugar, vinegar and remaining oil. Add still warm, sliced carrots and toss well. Leave aside for at least 20 minutes for the flavours to mellow.
  5. Arrange salad on a platter on a bed of rocket or other spicy greens.

Serve as a side or part of a mezze spread.

Vegan, vegetarian


  1. Yum! My mum made really good curried carrots lately, so I’m thinking carrots + spice is the way to liven up boring carrots for me 🙂

  2. Oh, carrots are the best! I especially love them spiked with heat, so the harissa here is right up my alley. I don’t think I’ve ever had carrots with caraway seeds, though–definitely intriguing!

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