We often wonder what else to do with vegetables aside from tossing them into a salad or braising them.
The dilemma deepens when the vegetable is none other than the humble carrot, because unlike with tomatoes, broccoli and spinach we are often short of ideas to use them in a manner they turn out delicious while retaining the nutritional value. Despite being a mainstay vegetable not much experimentation goes on with carrots as they are either shredded or sliced and mixed with other vegetables, leading to it being dubbed a boring veggie that's only high on health.
To make the good old carrot less mundane, here's a recipe that'll get you suddenly interested in it. It is a traditional Bengali recipe called 'Gajor Bata' (Carrot butter) my Ma made every time I refused to eat carrots as a kid. Complimented with steamed rice it makes for an absolute delicacy; you'll be amazed just how simple it is to put together.
Carrots shredded 4 nos.
Garlic chopped 2-3 cloves
Green chillies chopped 4 nos.
Mustard oil 3 tbsp
Black cumin seeds 1 tsp
Turmeric powder ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar - a pinch
Sliced black olives
In a grinder, grind the shredded carrot, chopped garlic and green chillies till it becomes a thick paste. You can let the consistency be a tad grainy, but not too much.
Heat mustard oil in a pan and then add the black cumin seeds to it. As the seeds begin to crackle, add the carrot mix to it. Add to it turmeric powder, and follow it up with salt as per taste and a pinch of sugar.
Keep stirring till the oil is properly absorbed, and it becomes a lovely, thick orange batter giving out a pungent aroma.
Pour it out on a dish and plate it up with a sprinkling of coriander leaves and sliced black olives.
Typically in Bengali homes this dish serves as a starter and is relished with steamed rice. But if you wish to give it a Continental flavour, why not pick up some garlic bread from the market, grill it and top it with your homemade carrot butter.
It'll make for a great entree dish at a house party, leaving your guests wondering what's gone into this gorgeous orange colour dip.