North African Spiced Carrots

"This is from Eating Well, Fall 2004 issue. I have always despised cooked carrots, but have found it's because I don't like them with added sugars or brown sugars and I really hate them mushy. This is the first cooked carrot recipe that I really like and have made it repeatedly. I modified the original recipe so that the carrots are cooked to the bare minimum, and I've bumped up a couple of the seasonings to my tastes. I use a smoked paprika that's a little spicy, which is wonderful in this, but you could use whatever you have on hand. I've also just used "baby" carrots as a timesaver."
photo by Tinkerbell photo by Tinkerbell
photo by Tinkerbell
photo by luvcookn photo by luvcookn
photo by ncmysteryshopper photo by ncmysteryshopper
photo by Rita1652 photo by Rita1652
photo by Rita1652 photo by Rita1652
Ready In:




  • Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  • Add garlic, paprika, cumin and coriander, cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 20 seconds.
  • Add water, lemon juice and salt.
  • Bring to a simmer.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer until somewhat syrupy, 10-15 minutes or so, stirring often.
  • Add carrots, cover and cook until just tender and the liquid is syrupy, another 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in parsley and lemon zest.
  • Serve hot or at room temperature.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I made a half recipe of these carrots, only because it was just me and my 5 year old DD eating them. I didn't read any of the reviews before trying the recipe, but now that I have, it looks like I had the same concerns as others did. DD measured the spices, which she has been doing for years, but after seeing the amount I thought maybe she got too much cumin or coriander, even though she assured me she only put in one Tbls each. After reading the other reviews here, I think she measured correctly and we would just back off a bit on the amounts next time. The final product was too spicy (in flavor, not heat) for her, but I enjoyed it. I too wondered how my carrots were going to cook in less than 5 minutes, so I cut them into large matchsticks instead of rounds, then made the recipe as written and they were perfectly al dente. Thanks for sharing this recipe, bikerchick! Made and enjoyed for the Winter 2012 African Recipe Tag Game.
  2. We really enjoyed these carrots. I did however add the carrots at the beginning of the the first time I made them...the carrots were a wee bit too crunchy for us. Served this with "recipe #164728" and basmati rice. Thank you for sharing. Made this for African Recipe Fun.
  3. I made these to go with a West African menu, and they added a set of competely different spicing to my menu of Chicken and Groundnut Stew, African Chop, and rice. I did cook the carrots right away, as I like well-cooked carrots. A nice change of pace.
  4. I also added my carrots to the liquid and let them cook. I thought the amounts of the spices were a little off as I found them to be quite overpowering and they masked the flavor of the carrots. I do used freshly ground spices, but I would use way less next time. Thanks for a great carrot recipe.
  5. This is different then the carrots I have. I find carrots sweet all on thier own so I agree with not adding sugar. At times I do add honey. This recipe gave it a whole new demension. Tang from the lemon juice, zest and coriander. Smokeyness from the cumin. And of course my favorite garlic no more to be said! I did add in the carrots along with the liquids. I just couldn`t see my carrots being cooked in 3-5 minutes. And they still had a nice crunch to them. Thanks for being this style of making carrots to zaar!


As my nickname might imply, one of my hobbies does have something to do with bikes. The motorized kind, I enjoy endurance motorcycle riding. I'm a big fan of car racing too, particularly the European stuff, road racing, and endurance car racing, not so much NASCAR, but no offense. The Beau and I get to take his car out once in a while for autocross and basically drive like speed demons and not get in trouble. I love driving in general and am one of the few nutz who enjoys shopping for cars. But I also love to cook. Believe it or not, my mom doesn't think I can cook. But she couldn't cook, so that's probably how she got on that track. My sister and I were latchkey kids and learned to help in the kitchen at a young age and I consider cooking a great outlet for my creative bits. I work full time but am in school on and off part time, plus try to keep up with current events and life in general, plus teach a weekly class to my co-workers, plus just hanging out with The Beau and all our good friends. Oh and I also pet/house-sit -- I used to do it for friends but recently hired on with a "company" and am now kinda one of their contractors. I'm a dog freak but don't have a good setup for dogs, so pet-sitting is how I get my dog fix. I have a kitty, she's 18 and at her age I figure she deserves a taste of whatever's on my plate.
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