Years ago in Toronto I had a nice little flat on the top floor of an old Victorian house near the annex. There was a second flat up there shared by two students, one of them a lovely young woman of Moroccan descent, Razika. She was an amazing cook. It was in their home I tasted my first chicken tagine as well as this amazing carrot salad.
Back then Razika had shown me how she made her salad. Over the years I suspect I may have inadvertently made a few changes. I no longer remember if Razika added chopped parsley or cilantro to hers, used butter or olive oil or whether she added a tiny bit of cinnamon which is rather nice in this salad. However, one thing has remained constant for me. I still love this dish as much as I did the very first time I tried it.
1 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic minced
1 lb carrots, washed and sliced about 1/4" thick
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp salt
a few pinches of cayenne pepper or more, to taste
a pinch or two cinnamon
1-3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
Melt the butter in a saucepan with a tight fitting lid over medium low heat and add the garlic. Stir until the mixture becomes fragrant and the butter begins to brown slightly. Quickly stir in the carrots and water. Cover the pot. Cook for about 5-8 minutes or until the carrots are tender but with a bit of a bite left.
Remove the lid and increase the heat. Continue to cook the carrots while stirring until the water has completely evaporated. Remove from heat and cool.
Combine the cumin, paprika, cayenne, cinnamon and salt and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the carrots. Toss until they are evenly coated with the spice mixture. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the salad and toss. Taste and make adjustments adding more lemon juice or spices as needed.
Top with the chopped cilantro and serve at room temperature.