Vadouvan roasted carrots with aleppo yogurt and hazelnut dukkah

Looking for an interesting vegetable side dish? Look no further. I first had a dish really similar to this at Herb and Wood restaurant in San Diego, and it was insanely good. Carrots aren’t normally at the top of my favorite vegetable list, especially cooked, but these are delicious. The secret lies in the medley of spices.

This dish has 3 components: carrots roasted in a vadouvan-spiced marinade, an aleppo-spiced yogurt sauce, and hazelnut dukkah.

Vadouvan is the French version of British curry powder. Believed to have originated in Pondicherry, India, vadouvan has onion and garlic, unlike most curry powders. No two versions are alike. I bought mine from Oaktown Spice Shop, a specialty spice store in Oakland, CA. My version has shallots, turmeric, coriander, onion, brown mustard, palm sugar, cumin, garlic, fenugreek, paprika, salt, white pepper, chili, and curry leaves. It’s a little sweet and a little smoky, which really elevates these carrots. You can find it at most spice shops or specialty grocery stores, but in a pinch, you can also use your favorite curry powder.

Dukkah is an Egyptian spice blend with toasted nuts, seeds and spices. It’s delicious mixed with olive oil as a dip for bread, or sprinkled on top of any veggies you want to dress up. I made my own but you could easily find this in any Middle Eastern grocery store. This recipe makes about twice what you’ll need. You can store the leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

Finally, Aleppo pepper is a chili from Turkey and Syria. It’s dried and crushed, similar to the red chili pepper we put on pizza. If you can’t find it, you could substitute 2/3 crushed red chili flakes, 1/3 paprika and a pinch of salt.

The recipe itself is easy. Make your marinade, cover your carrots and roast them for 30 minutes. While they’re cooking, make your yogurt sauce and dukkah. Dress your carrots, and serve!

These are truly worthy of a dinner party or a holiday meal – just multiply the carrot and yogurt sauce quantities. As stated, this recipe will make 2-4 servings.

Ingredients – carrots

  • 32 small carrots, scrubbed and peeled
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons vadouvan
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Ingredients – Aleppo yogurt sauce

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper

Ingredients – hazelnut dukkah

  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup yogurt, vadouvan, olive oil, and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix until combined, then toss carrots in it. Bake on a foil or silpat-lined tray for 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup yogurt, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and Aleppo pepper. Stir until combined.
  3. In a small saucepan, toast hazelnuts over medium low heat for 5 minutes. Add cumin seeds and walnuts and toast for another 3 minutes, stirring gently to avoid burning. Add sesame seeds and toast for another 2 minutes, shaking or stirring frequently. Spread out mixture on a large plate and let cool completely.
  4. In a food processor, combine hazelnut-walnut-cumin-sesame mixture, coriander powder, cayenne, and salt. Pulse until the mixture is mostly ground, but a few small pieces of nuts remain.
  5. Plate your carrots, drizzle the yogurt on top, and sprinkle on 3-4 tablespoons of dukkah. Serve.

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