Inspired by a recipe in Julie Sahni’s Indian Regional Classics (Ten Speed Press, 2001), these carrots are stewed long enough to concentrate their sweetness; mustard seeds, curry leaves, and chiles provide warm and earthy notes. This recipe first appeared in our October 2011 issue along with Lesley Porcelli’s story The Soft Approach.
- 2 tbsp. canola oil
- 1 tsp. brown mustard seeds
- 2 tsp. yellow split peas, lightly crushed
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1⁄2 tsp. paprika
- 24 fresh or dried curry leaves
- 2 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed and torn into small pieces
- 1 1⁄4 lb. small to medium carrots, thinly sliced crosswise
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Cooked basmati rice, for serving
- Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds, cover skillet with lid, and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the seeds stop popping, about 30 seconds.
- Remove the lid and stir in the peas, turmeric, paprika, curry leaves, and chiles, and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots along with 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until carrots are very soft, about 20 minutes.
- Uncover the pan, raise the heat to high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the excess liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot or at room temperature with basmati rice.