Carrots to me fall in the category of vegetables which are best eaten raw. I dont much care for boiled carrots no matter how they are jazzed up. Roasted carrots are just about okay, but given the choice, I'd always have carrots raw. Maybe I was a rabbit in some former life.
Still, as nice as raw carrots are, they're nicer still in this sour-sweet-spicy salad. I'd found some purple carrots in Sainsbury's - new season carrots, the information on the package said. The purple colour, it went on to say, is naturally gained from the minerals in the soil. I dont know how far that is true, but the minerals apparently didnt have time to penetrate to the core of the carrots. Because when I sliced the tops off the carrots, I found that the purple colour extended only part-way inside.
I could well be wrong, but I got the impression that the colour had been somehow infused, rather like that school experiment with cut flowers (put them in coloured water, and in a few hours the petals and the insides of the stems pick up the colour from the water... but not ALL the way through - much like these carrots).
Anyway, the purple carrots tasted sweeter than the regular orange ones, and looked pretty in the salad as well. Chopped de-seeded tomatoes and cucumbers can be added to this salad. (I used tomatoes but not cucumbers.)
Personally, I love this salad right to the last drop... the collected juices of the tomatoes and carrots at the bottom of the bowl, tart with lemon juice and spiced up with mustard seeds and coriander leaves, are my particular pleasure and I dont care HOW rude it is to slurp it up, but I do! :)
My entry for Cate's ARF/5-a-Day #31.
Recipe for: Seasoned lemony carrot salad
4 cups grated carrots
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (can be de-seeded first)
2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
Salt to taste
Juice of two large limes (more or less as per taste)
3 green chillies, de-seeded and sliced very thin (adjust to taste)
1 tsp oil
3 tbsp fresh chopped coriander leaves
1. Heat the oil in a pan, put in the mustard seeds, cover the pan and let them pop (about 30 seconds).
2. Add the sliced green chillies and let them fry till they begin to turn brown. Then add the asafoetida powder and cumin powder and mix.
3. Toss the grated carrots and tomatoes together in a bowl. Pour over the seasoning, salt to taste and lemon juice, and the chopped coriander leaves.
4. Lightly mix with a large fork so that the seasoning and coriander leaves are distributed evenly.