Carrots with Caraway

Tunisian meals begin with an array of small dishes and some good pita. I've always thought of this course as a time to settle into the dinner atmosphere with family or friends, eating slowly, savoring the colors and flavors of the many dishes, and preparing for the main course, be it a couscous or tagine or pkaïla. Pair this carrot dish with Potatoes with Cumin, some good black cured olives, some pistachios or boiled almonds, zaatar and olive oil, extra harissa, and pita. I've based this particular version on a recipe from Andrée Zana-Murat, La Cuisine Juive Tunisienne.


Yield: 6 servings

Cook the carrots in salted water (just enough water to cover) until just tender. Drain over a bowl, but save the cooking liquid. In a frying pan, warm the olive oil, remove from flame, and add the garlic, paprika and harissa. Replace the pan on the flame, add the drained carrots, and stir for 5 minutes. Add the reserved cooking liquid, and increase the flame. Stir constantly, and cook until all the water is gone. Add the caraway and vinegar, bring just to a boil, and remove from heat. Adjust the salt. Serve warm or cool.

*Harissa is a North African condiment, available in many Middle-Eastern or French specialty shops. It is a mixture of hot peppers, garlic, salt, and usually oil. Occasionally coriander or other herbs are added to the mixture.

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