Curried Carrot Mash

I watched Amarcord last night while these sweet and spicy carrots were simmering, slowly oozing out their magic. I love foods that can be left to their own devices. And the color they came up with by the time they were through–gorgeous! You can make a mash of any root, really. I made my own curry blend and threw in some pineapple juice for interestingness. And they came out great.

By some coincidence, these carrots well matched the carnival Fellini was whipping up onscreen. There is such a joy in Amarcord, I was completely enchanted by it. It’s a funny and bawdy ode to Fellini’s childhood in Rimini, a small coastal town on the Adriatic. He plays the themes of fascism/control against the cyclical chaos of life. Anyways, these were just carrots, but with the nearly day-glo orange color and the lively spice, plus a great balance of sweet and heat, I was entirely happy to eat them. There was just something simple and fun to them.

Apparently, carrot enthusiasts abound. There’s even a World Carrot Museum online.

Curry Carrot Mash
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. cumin seed
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. garam masala
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
3 cloves garlic
1 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped roughly
6 oz. pineapple juice
2 c. water
chopped peanuts for garnish

Warm the olive oil in a heavy pot (for best results) on medium heat. Add garlic and spices. Saute for about 3 minutes, then add the carrots and continue to cook for another few minutes. Pour in the pineapple juice and water and bring the heat to high and the liquid to a rolling boil. Boil for about 15 minutes, or until the liquid reduces by half. Turn the heat to med-low and cover the pot to simmer until the carrots are soft, which will take maybe another 20 minutes. Periodically check the carrots to see if they need more liquid, and, if so, add more water.

When carrots are soft, season with salt to taste. Using a potato masher, work them into a roughly creamy consistency. I like mine still chunky. Serve over brown rice and garnish with crushed peanuts. A sprig or two of cilantro would be a nice garnish as well.


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About Kate Soto

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