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Tunisian spiced carrot salad (Slata bil'shneriya)

Single vegetable salads usually tend to be avoided, unless the preparation is spectacular and the vegetable is at the peak of the season. The flavours are simpler generally but the salads are delicious if made well.

This is one of those special salads. The carrots are simmered till they are just cooked leaving a lot of texture and some crunch. The dressing is loud with spices from the hot paprika and caraway seeds. The flavours come together well and this is a light salad that opens up the palate for the next course. It can also be served as a side if desired.

Ya Amna translates to "My mother", and this is a cookbook that tells the story of the migration of Shoshana from Djerba, Tunisia to Israel. This is a book about a life and the memories and experiences of a family told through food. Ya Amna is a taste of the essence of Shoshana and the Cohen family: a spirit of boundless generosity, simplicity and modesty, together with common sense and faith rooted in love and in human and female strength. The recipes are down-home cooking that takes you to the flavours of North Africa, simple, and delicious.

For more recipes from this book, click here.



Ingredients:

1 lb carrots, about 6-8 baby carrots

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 cups water


5 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoons caraway (shah jeera) seeds, lightly toasted and crushed

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin seeds

1 tablespoon paprika, hot or smoked or a combination of both

Salt, to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

Juice of 1 lime or lemon

Mint, dill or parsley, minced, for garnish


If desired, peel the carrots and cut them into halves or quarters longitudinally. Add to a pot with the water and salt and boil. Simmer for 5-8 minutes till the carrots are about half cooked. I do not like them mushy so I leave them partially cooked for better texture. Drain and set aside.


Mix the garlic, caraway, cumin, paprika and salt well. heat a frying pan and add the oil. Add the spice mix and cook on very low for 30 seconds. Be careful as the ground spices will burn very easily.


Add the carrots and toss them in the spices till warm. remove from the heat. Squeeze in the lime/lemon juice and toss well. Taste for tartness and salt and adjust as needed. Transfer to a shallow bowl and garnish with the green herb. Serve immediately.

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