By Raghad Al Safi: ‘Growing up, this salad was one of my grandma’s specialties. She would often recount her childhood in the city of Mosul and how this warming winter staple – one of her favourites – worked just as well accompanying rice or meat dishes, as it did simply served with a slice of sammoun bread. While rich in colour and flavour, it is deceptively easy to make. I’ve simplified it further by using canned chickpeas, but soaking your own would also work. As an alternative, you could also substitute the carrots with cooked pumpkin (cube and coat in coconut oil before roasting in a hot oven for 20–25 minutes). My grandmother might not recognize that version of ‘carrot salad’ but I like to imagine she’d appreciate that a variation of that much-loved recipe of her youth still survives.’ Do read our review of Raghad Al Safi’s cookbook The Iraqi Kitchen.
zalatat al jezar bil zebeeb wel joz ~ Carrots with Walnuts & Sultanas
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup canned chickpeas
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp tahini salt and pepper
- 3 tbsp coconut oil. to taste
- 4 tbsp coarsely chopped walnuts
- 4 large carrots
- ¼-½ cup boiling water
- ¼ tsp cumin
- 3 tbsp sultana raisins
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander
- In a blender, combine the olive oil, chickpeas, garlic cloves, lemon juice, tahini and salt and pepper to a smooth consistency, to make the dressing.
- In a skillet heat the coconut oil, fry the walnuts and set aside. Peel the carrots and slice thickly. In the same oil, sauté the carrots for 3–4 minutes and add the boiling water (¼ to ½ cup) and cumin. Cook uncovered until the carrots absorb the water, stirring occasionally. The carrots should still be firm and a bit crunchy. To serve, cover the plate with the dressing and arrange the carrots and walnuts with orange zest, sultana raisins and coriander on top in layers.
- For a tasty variation, add roast pumpkin instead of carrots. Brush the pumpkin pieces with coconut oil and roast for 15 minutes in the oven before adding the raisins, coriander, orange zest and walnuts.
[The Iraqi Table is published by Motivate Publishing and is available in leading bookstores and at booksarabia.com. Motivate Publishing has shared this recipe and image with FoodeMag dxb website and e-magazine. We may have altered it to match the format in which our recipes appear in this website]