Mridula’s Carrots in Roasted ChannaDahl Sauce
Serves about 4 as a vegetable side dish or, unorthodox-ily, as part of a sort of Indian chutney antipasti, as we did with Mridula (see previous posting). I like this served at room temperature rather than reheated, as the carrots retain their bright orange color and fresh, sweet taste! I ate the leftovers for breakfast the next day!
2 tablespoons +2 teaspoons oil of choice (I use a combination of half canola, half olive for everyday cooking)
1/2-1 tsp black mustard seeds
1- 1 1/2 lb fresh, sweet, large autumn carrots, peeled and cut into 5 cmm/1/4 inch cubes
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2-1 teaspoon mild chile flakes (such as Urfa, Aleppo, or other Turkish chillies, or a pinch hot chile flakes or shake or two cayenne
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons ordinary green split peas (though the traditional recipe calls for channa dahl or yellow split peas; I find green ones just fine!)
1 heaping tablespoon sesame seeds OR 1 heaping tablespoon tahina + a drizzle of toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice or to taste
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add the mustard seeds. As soon as they start popping, which will be around 30 seconds to a minute, add the carrots, salt, sugar and chile flakes or cayenne. Stir over medium heat 2-3 minutes, then add 1/3 cup water, reduce heat slightly, and cook, covered, until the carrots are firm but tender, 10-12 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in a small frying pan over a low heat and dd the coriander seeds and split peas. Fry them until they are golden, light brown, but do not let them darken, probably less than 1 minute. Add the sesame seeds and continue to fry 30-40 seconds. (If you are using the tahina and sesame oil instead of sesame seeds, omit this step).
3. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes, then grind the seeds and peas in a coffee grinder until they form a smooth powder.
4. Add the seeds/pea mixture to the carrots (and if using tahina and sesame oil, add these too), then cook together, uncovered, until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture has formed a paste that clings to the carrots, about 6-8 minutes. Depending on how much liquid was left in the pan with the carrots, you may need to add a little bit more water–my frying pan is shallow and i had to add about 1/4 cup. Add the lemon juice and remove from the heat.
You may eat them warm, but I like them best at room temperature.