Prep 15 mins
Cook 20 mins
The Egyptian spice blend known as dukka includes toasted ground cumin, coriander and sesame seeds; Sortun gives it a twist by adding toasted coconut. The carrot dish here is traditionally eaten by first dipping bread in oil and then in the dukka before spooning the puree on top. It’s typical of North Africa’s qimia--a version of tapas or meze. Harissa is a fiery Tunisian spice paste. It is available in jars and tubes at many specialty food shops. If you cant find it, i have read that you can sub chili garlic paste or other hot sauce, but I bet the harissa is much better. MAKE AHEAD: The recipe can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Refrigerate the carrots and store the spice mixture at room temperature.
- 1⁄4 cup blanched almonds or 1⁄4 cup hazelnuts
- 1⁄4 cup coriander seed
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1⁄4 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut
- fresh ground pepper
- 2 lbs carrots, cut into 2-inch lengths
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 4 teaspoons harissa (see Note)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
- torn pita bread or thinly sliced baguette, for serving
- In a medium skillet, toast the almonds over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a work surface to cool, then finely chop. Add the coriander and cumin seeds to the skillet and toast, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and let cool completely, then coarsely grind. In a medium bowl, mix the ground almonds with the spices.
- Add the sesame seeds to the skillet and toast over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer the sesame seeds to the spice grinder. Toast the coconut in the skillet over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Transfer to the grinder and let cool completely. Grind the sesame seeds and coconut to a coarse powder. Add to the almond-spice mixture and season with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
- In a large saucepan, cover the carrots with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the carrots and return them to the saucepan. Cook for 30 seconds over medium heat to dry thoroughly. Remove from the heat and coarsely mash the carrots with a fork. Stir in the 6 tablespoons of olive oil, the vinegar, harissa, ground cumin and ginger. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the carrot puree to a bowl and serve with torn pita, olive oil and the spice mix.
I agree with currybunny that the carrots should be processed instead of mashed. The dish was very oily. I would suggest subbing lemon juice for the vinegar, which was way too powerful for the gentle sweetness of the carrots. I generally like cumin, but I thought the tsp of cumin unnecessary to the point of overpowering. The dukka didn't help. It was okay, but a lot of work for just "okay".
Oh this was good! I wasn't sure what DH would make of it, but he gave it an unreserved 5 stars (I nearly fell off my chair). The carrots and spicy harisa paste really compliment each other. I'd had a jar of harrissa paste lurking unopened in my store cupboard, so was pleased to find a recipe to use it in. I really liked the dukka too, and have since used it as a topping to other dishes.
This was such a nice, tangy carrot dish, so good with a Nth African meal with lots of dishes! I must confess I used a much easier dukkah recipe, #20897 though. I think next time I'd puree this in my food processor rather than roughly mashing it, but that's just personal preference. Love the harissa, I'd probably recommend subbing with sambal olek if you really must - harissa is the best though!