Thursday 22 March 2007

khizzou – moroccan style carrots

It’s said that carrots in a new bride’s kitchen brings good luck so here I am munching away.

The carrot is the taproot of a biennial plant that comes from the Umbelliferae family (parsnips, fennel caraway, cumin and dill). These plants all have umbrella style flowers, hence the name.

This wonderful recipe brings out the natural sweetness of carrots and I love to roast thin, young carrots without peeling them much at all.

I've never been big on Moroccan food because of the regular use of cinnamon in a savoury context. It's a little bit perverse of me, since cinnamon is my favourite spice, however I only like it in sweet dishes, but this recipe works wonderfully alongside the honey and pinenuts.

Khizzou – Moroccan-Style Carrots
Recipe from Australian Gourmet Traveller’s Modern Salads. Serves 4-6 as side dish or mezze.
3 bunches baby carrots, peeled and tops trimmed
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
4 tablespoons olive oil
60g roasted pinenuts
1. Preheat oven to 190’C.
2. Combine carrots, honey, cumin and half the olive oil in a roasting pan. Toss well and season with salt and pepper.
3. Bake for 20 minutes until carrots are tender and slightly browned.
4. Dry fry paprika and cinnamon until fragrant. Combine with remaining olive oil and lemon juice then add to carrots.
5. Add herbs, mix then transfer to platter.
6. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with pinenuts
My WHB ingredient this week is obviously carrots.

Carrots are high in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, dietary fiber and potassium. They are also chock full of antioxidants and pro-vitamin A carotenes, protecting against heart disease and cancer and also promote good vision, especially night vision.

The high levels of beta-carotene in carrots helps to protect vision, especially night vision. In the liver beta-carotenes are turned into vitamin A which then moves to the retina where it becomes rhodopsin, a pigment used for night-vision. The antioxidants in beta-carotene protects against macular degeneration and the development of cataracts in the elderly.

Carrots were first grown in the Middle East and Central Asia and were originally purple in colour. Before Ancient Greece was even worth mentioning an Afghani carrot came out yellow and became the ancestor of today’s orange taproots.

In Rome and Greece, carrots were used as medicine and it wasn’t until the Renaissance that European caught on that carrots could be part of your daily meal.

Carrots have been used to treat digestive problems, intestinal parasites, tonsillitis and the Mohegans (Native Americans) used a tea of carrot blossoms to treat diabetes.

In the 1800s carrots were the first commercially canned veggie and today the US, UK, France, Poland, China and Japan are avid carrot growing nations.

The negative aspect of eating too many carrots is a condition called carotoderma, where the skin is tinged yellow and then orange from consumption of too much carotene.

It seems consumption of too much carotene overloads the liver which can’t convert it to vitamin A. The excess is then stored, in the weirdest of places, in the palms, soles and behind the ears.

There are a lot of carrot festivals around the world including Holtville, California (USA); Bradford, Ontario (Canada); Ohakune (New Zealand); Croissy sur Seine (France); Aarau (Switzerland); Schenectady County, NY (USA); Creances (France); and Beypazarı, (Turkey).

In Australia there is even a kooky musical group, Flute‘n’Veg, who make musical instruments out of carrots. It’s bizarre and intriguing all at once.

And here are five carrot facts to whet your whistle before you make your own carrot flute!
• Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny, did not like carrots
• If cows eat too many carrots their milk tastes bitter.
• in 2005 carrots were Britain’s third favourite vegetable
• In EU agricultural regulations fpr fruit jams/jellies carrots are considered a fruit as well as a vegetable since the Portuguese have a traditional carrot jam.
• The world's largest carrot was grown in Alaska in 1998 weighing 8.614 kg (18.99 pounds).

This week the WHB host is Kate from Thyme for Cooking. Be sure the visit the recap to see what's going down in the world of herbs.




  1. I love carrots and am always looking for new ways.
    Plus there are always some in the fridge so I can try this one tonight.
    I'm with you on the cinnamon...but I will use it...

  2. Hi Anna

    These photos look great! Lovely clarity and detail. Makes me want to steal a carrot from the screen and munch away.

  3. You have great recipe idea's, I really like this blog! :)

    visit jeena's kitchen healthy recipe blog

  4. This recipe is a must try for me. I make carotts/Karotten, young ones, often with a sweet hint. And with nuts like pinenuts, hazelnuts and with sesame seeds. I even know cumin works very well with carotts. But I never added cinnamon.
    I don't think there is something to wondering about. Carotts itself taste a bit sweet and I think everybody knows or has at least heard about sweet carott cake.

  5. This is a great recipe! I am always so boring when I make them - but now I must try this. Thanks!

  6. Your photo of the finished dish is just gorgeous. I know what you mean about cinnamon in savory dishes, but this sounds great. (I went to Morocco, and the food was quite amazing. I recommend it highly as a travel destination.)

  7. I love carrots and this is a very innovative recipe for me to try.

    Thanks a lot.

  8. this recipe sounds delicious. i will have to try the carrots.

  9. Congratulations-your carrots look very tasty.

  10. How perfect - I happen to be making morroccan spiced roasted chicken tonight....will make these carrots to go with!

  11. Greetings from Paris! It's winter here and I found in my local market four types of winter carrots that you may care to see in my blog (
    I was browsing the web, in search of recipes and found your 2007 post.
    Do you get these types of carrots in your market?
    Thank you! I am going to try it over the weekend.
    Bon appetit! Laura

  12. Last year when I was in Morocco in order to participate in an exhibition of Morocco property, it was enough to fell in love with Moroccan food.
    In Morocco, eating is like a big social event! I've had dinners with friends that lasted 4 hours, one course after another. The key is, to eat a little of everything! Most meals often have up to 5 courses: starting with bstilla, thin pastry filled with chicken mixture, followed by a tasty kebab, then a tajine of couscous (granular semolina), which is steamed and served with spices, vegetables, nuts and raisins, and often served with rich spicy stews and roasted meats served with Khubz (a round spongy homemade bread), then fruits, pastries and tea at the end. The common ritual is washing your hands and drinking tea before and after the meal. Traditional Moroccans, eat with their fingers (right hand) and sharing food in a big platter. Before eating, people give thanks to God by saying "Bismillah" and at the end of the meal the say "Al Hamdulilah".


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