Carrot Kari (Indian-Style Carrots With Mustard Seeds)

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


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
  • 12 tsp. paprika
  • 24 fresh or dried curry leaves
  • 2 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed and torn into small pieces
  • 1 14 lb. small to medium carrots, thinly sliced crosswise
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cooked basmati rice, for serving


Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

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