Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Indian Carrot Salad with Mustard Seeds

Indian Carrot Salad with Mustard Seeds

This spicy vegan dish doubles as a starter or side

Can vegan rock? We’ll let this dish answer for itself.

It’s colorful and easy to make. And it’s equally tasty at room temperature or chilled, so you can make it ahead of time.

And don’t tell your vegan friends, but it also goes great with meat or chicken (serve it with fried or roast chicken, grilled or barbecued meat or fish, or even tacos or a burger).

So feel free to use this dish as you like. We won’t say a word.



Indian Carrot Salad with Mustard Seeds

Recipe: Indian Carrot Salad with Mustard Seeds

For this dish, mustard seeds are, well, a must. And because this is an Indian dish, that means you’ll need brown or black mustard seeds—not the yellow kind more commonly used in Western cooking. If your supermarket doesn’t stock them, you can find them at any Indian grocery. Or just try the web, where they’re readily available.

Black mustard seeds have somewhat better flavor, but they’re hard to find (and can be expensive). Brown mustard seeds are easier to get, and are what we used in this dish.

We adapted this recipe from our favorite Indian cookbook, Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking (the 1982 version written to accompany a BBC TV program; now out of print, alas).

Prep time for this recipe is 5 to 10 minutes. Cooking and assembly add another 5 minutes.

This recipe serves 4 as a starter, 6 to 8 as a side dish.

Ingredients
  • 5 to 6 medium carrots (to taste: exact quantity not critical)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (see Notes)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (we think more is better in this dish, but 1 tablespoon is OK)
  • 1 tablespoon whole black or brown mustard seeds (not the more common yellow mustard seeds; see headnote)
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (very optional; to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (or to taste)
  • lemon twist for garnish (optional)
Procedure
  1. Scrub and peel the carrots. Grate them coarsely (a 4-sided grater works; better still, use the grating attachment on a food processor). Pour the grated carrots into a medium-sized bowl, and add the salt. Toss to combine.
  2. Place a small frying pan over medium stovetop heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil. When the oil is heated (it’ll shimmer), add the mustard seeds. When the seeds pop (this will take under a minute, usually more like 10 to 20 seconds), pour the seeds and oil into the bowl with the shredded carrots. Add the cayenne pepper and the lemon juice, then toss together. Taste, and add more lemon juice and/or salt if needed.
  3. At this point, you can either refrigerate the salad (in an airtight container), or leave it at room temperature if you plan to serve it within the next 3 to 4 hours. We usually taste the salad again right before serving and adjust the salt/lemon juice if necessary. Garnish with a twist of lemon, if you wish.
Indian Carrot Salad with Mustard Seeds

Notes
  • Yellow mustard seeds don’t have the right flavor for this dish. You really do need to use brown or black ones.
  • BTW, mustard probably originated in India. Or at least the earliest references point in that direction.
  • We sometimes mince a few tablespoons of parsley or cilantro and toss them with the carrots right before serving.
  • The cayenne pepper is optional (it’s not in the original recipe). We like the hint of heat it adds, but you might not.
  • We use kosher salt in our kitchen (sea salt at table). Kosher salt has bigger flakes than table salt, so it doesn’t fill a measuring spoon as “tightly.” Hence, it’s less salty by volume. If you’re using regular table salt, use only half as much as we suggest. But always season to your taste, not ours.
  • Because this dish can sit at room temperature for a while, it makes great picnic or pot-luck fare.
  • This dish is typical of Gujarati cooking. Gujarat, a state in Western India, was one of the main centers of the Indus Valley Civilization. So its roots go back to the Bronze Age.
Indian Carrot Salad with Mustard Seeds

Carrot or Stick?

“Best beta-carotene I’ve ever had,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs, forking her plate. “My kind of nutrition. The mustard seeds add great flavor.”

“They definitely cut the mustard,” I said.

“Bet you’ve been waiting to say that,” said Mrs K R. “Well, I don’t carrot all.”

“Good one,” I said. “That pun was 24 carrot.”

“As was yours,” said Mrs K R. “I relish a good condiment pun.”

“Thanks. I have to continually challenge myself to new pun heights — or lows,” I said. “Otherwise, it’s just Dijon vu.”

“Amazing that you mustard the strength to come up with that one,” said Mrs K R.

“Well, I’m just trying to ketchup with you,” I said.

We’ll stop now, before we get ourselves in a pickle.

You may also enjoy reading about:
Pineapple, Coconut, and Carrot Salad
Moroccan Carrot Salad
Moroccan Orange and Radish Salad
Edamame and Bean Salad
Hungarian Cucumber Salad
Shaved Fennel Salad
Or check out the index for more recipes

102 comments:

  1. Happy Cookbook Wednesday -- Madhur Jaffray is definitely a good choice of cookbook authors, and that sounds like a delicious salad. It's amazing how many cuisines take grated carrots, their own spice combos, and make something that's really theirs.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Mae, I love what spices can do to a dish! Just change up the spices and the same dish can be Indian, or Mexican, or Moroccan, or whatever. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  2. Good morning, John:)
    This recipe really cuts the mustard John. Quite intriguing too. I wouldn't ordinarily consider mustard an accompaniment to mustard but, if you say it works and Madhur Jaffrey chose to share it, it must be worthy of a least one taste!

    Thank you so much for sharing...

    P.S. You are more than welcome to link this post up to Cookbook Wednesday. In the mean time, I'll be pinning it to my Mustard Board. (huge fan of mustard I am, I am:)

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    1. Hi Louise, brown/black mustard seeds have a different flavor than the yellow ones, so they really work in this dish. It's good! You should try it. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  3. Dijon vu! Now that's some great mustard humor. I'll start the hunt for black mustard. It's new to me. GREG

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    1. Hi Greg, black mustard is good stuff. You'll like it, and it's fun to play with. Thanks for the comment.

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  4. Vegan food can definitely be tasty! Love carrots and mustard seeds.

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    1. Hi Laura, don't carrots play so well with mustard seeds? Love the combo! Thanks for the comment.

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    1. Hi Ansh, this is SO good! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  6. What a simple and unique side dish. Really, it would go with just about anything and goes a long way toward breaking out of any side dish rut one might be in. Great combo of flavors to try!

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    1. Hi Judy, although this is an Indian dish, you're right -- it goes with anything. Very versatile. Thanks for the comment.

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  7. I so love dishes like this - simple and healthy and PACKED with flavor! Also love that it can be enjoyed warm or cold!

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    1. Hi Shashi, the warm and cold thing is so convenient, isn't it? And it tastes great either way! Thanks for the comment.

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  8. This sounds lovely and light. I have carrot juice almost daily with breakfast and roast them often but haven't made a carrot salad in years. I will definitely give this a try for something new. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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    1. Hi Vicki, the nice thing about a carrot salad is all the fiber (although of course you get that with roasted carrots, too). Thanks for the comment.

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  9. I love carrot salads---and I don't think I can wait till picnic season to add this to our menu.

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    1. Hi Liz, aren't carrot salads great? I can eat them for breakfast. And I have. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  10. Be still my heart. I love Indian food and I adore carrots. I have used Madhur Jaffrey's recipes for years and they always turn out to be delicious. I recently heard her interviewed on "The Splendid Table" about her newest book which chronicles her travels throughout India in search of the best home cooking and family recipes. I will be trying this dish very soon. (I already have the black mustard seeds in one of my two Indian Spice boxes). Cheers, Rocquie

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    1. Hi Rocque, Madhur Jaffrey is the best! We've been lucky enough to eat at her restaurant on the upper east side of Manhattan. Good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  11. Hi John,
    Wow, such an interesting post. I have never had brown or black mustard seeds before and I think this dish may be my first one to taste them. I adore carrots anyway they are prepared and I love this recipe, easy, make ahead, and can be used for even picnics. You always have such great info, like I had no idea about the Gujarati cooking. I always love to learn about new ideas and different cultures. Great post and so colorful too! Have a wonderful rest of the week..
    Dottie :)

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    1. Hi Dottie, the flavor of this is wonderful, but it's the good looks of this dish that I think I like the most. Thanks for the comment.

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  12. I would love to try those mustard seeds - I am already a fan of the bland yellow ones :) That first photo is absolutely gorgeous! And once again you made me laugh with your wonderful humor. Lovely recipe - will have to give it a try!

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    1. Hi Tricia, this is a great dish -- bet you'll enjoy it. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  13. Yum! At first, I thought it was a pasta. I think it can be served as a salad or as a low carb carrot pasta. ;)

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    1. Hi Denise, it does look a little like pasta, doesn't it? Fun idea about the low carb carrot pasta. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  14. I love this dish's versatility. Room temperature dishes are always nice ro have in your back pocket. I'll be curious to try these mustard seeds.

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    1. Hi Jeff, we love versatile dishes too! Makes life much simpler. And simple sure works for us! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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    1. Hi Peachy, bet you would, too! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  16. This is so beautiful! And I happen to have some black mustard seeds on hand...

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    1. Hi Mimi, isn't this great? Love black (and brown) mustard seeds -- such an interesting flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  17. Oh fabulous salad John! You have piqued my interest about brown and black mustard seeds. I've not had them before. Are they spicy? Do they add any heat? I love carrot salads, but get tired of that typical salad...carrots & raisins. This is one that I'm eager to try! Thanks so much for sharing it!

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    1. Hi Anne, not really much heat (the cayenne in the recipe takes care of that), but they do have a distinct flavor that is, well, spicy. :-) This is definitely worth a try. Thanks for the comment.

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  18. THIS sounds insanely good!!! I friggin' love it. And I love that these are ALL ingredients I can eat! WINNER :D

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    1. Hi GiGI, we have to come up with a recipe once a month or so that you can actually eat! And this is a good one. Thanks for the comment.

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  19. I always enjoy reading your kitchen conversations, John. They make me smile. A lovely recipe for good old carrots (always, always in my fridge).

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    1. Hi Liz, we always have carrots in our refrigerator too. And bubbly. Maybe I should do a recipe combining those two? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  20. Hi John, this dish looks amazing and yes i do have black mustard seeds on hand. Love that cookbook.

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    1. Hi Cheri, isn't that a great cookbook? I have other Indian cookbooks, but always come back to that one. Think I've cooked almost every recipe in the book! Thanks for the comment.

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  21. IS there a way to print this recipe in a printer friendly format? Am I missing the button? I'd like to print this out so I can make this, it sounds really good.

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    1. Hi t, nope you're not missing the button -- it isn't there! It's a pain, I know. Haven't found a recipe plug-in that works on Blogger that I like. Plus my recipes tend not to fit the format of the plug-ins, anyway. Best advice is to copy, paste on notepad or something, and print. Pretty 20th century, huh? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  22. What a gorgeous carrot salad full of delicious spices (and mustard seeds - genius!). Going to keep this recipe for the carrot harvest!

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    1. Hi Pamela, with the size of your carrot harvest, you can use lots of different recipes! This is such a good one. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  23. Such a simple combination of ingredients but I bet the flavor is spectacular. It's such a pretty salad too and you're right, it would be a wonderful, healthy side to any grilled entree!

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    1. Hi Chris, simple, pretty, flavorful, easy. What's not to like? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  24. Gorgeous dish John! I luckily have everything in my pantry to make this and even have black mustard seeds. We have an awesome Indian Provisions store in Causeway Bay that I get all my spices in HK. Great idea for a picnic or even as a topping to an amazing sandwich or with some nan bread. So many uses. Wishing you a super weekend!

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    1. Hi Bobbi, Indian grocery stores are the best place to buy spices, don't you think? Usually very good quality, and excellent prices. Thanks for the comment.

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  25. This is too pretty! And I love that it can be made ahead of time!

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    1. Hi Ashley, we love dishes we can make ahead! So convenient. Thanks for the comment.

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  26. I have never had a carrot salad like this...the fact that it is just a handful of ingredients makes it easy to prepare...I can imagine how tasty this must be.
    Hope you are having a great week John :)

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    1. Hi Juliana, this really is easy. And SO good! Thanks for the comment.

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  27. This definitely looks great. I can see serving this with a good barbecue pork dish. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi SG, we haven't tried this with BBQ pork, but I think it'd be wonderful. In fact I've thought it might be a nice slaw replacement in a pulled pork sandwich. Thanks for the comment.

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  28. You don't often see carrots used as the main star in a recipe. I love this - the perfect side for summer barbecues!

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    1. Hi Kristi, isn't this a great side? And carrots are so good, they need more recipes for them! Thanks for the comment.

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  29. I can practically taste and smell this just from looking at the list of great aromatics. What a heavenly dish. And so versatile, too. I can imagine it as a side to so many dishes, and even mounded inside a sandwich.

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    1. Hi Carolyn, haven't tried this as a sandwich ingredient yet, but definitely thinking about it! Great idea. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  30. Beautiful healthy and yummy salad :-)

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    1. Hi Kushi, it is, it is! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  31. This salad is my all time favorite. The pictures are amazing

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    1. Hi Smitha, love this salad! Such nice flavor, don't you think? Thanks for the comment.

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  32. Hey John :)
    A new Indian dish which I haven't had tasted before. That's a great addition to my collection! You added mustard seeds too, so that dish will have a great nutty under tone. I can imagine serving this with fish curry rice.

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    1. Hi Helene, this is a wonderful dish -- you'll love it! Good to see you again! Thanks for the comment.

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  33. This looks delicious! I'm always looking for new ideas for side dishes instead of the same old salad, broccoli, whatever and this looks so easy to make. Plus, I can use some of the various jars of mustard seeds that I have.

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    1. Hi Pam, we're always looking for new sides too! And this is a good one. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  34. Spices lends so much to every dish. I love the earthy from mustard seeds and it pairs so well with carrots :)

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    1. Hi Kiran, mustard seeds and carrots are a most excellent combo, aren't they? Thanks for the comment.

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  35. Ok, I've landed on your page about 6 times in the last two days and just as I'm about to comment, I get pulled away, lol. I'm here to stay this time!
    I absolutely love this dish, John, and I just purchased black mustard seeds for a tomato chutney recipe I'm going to make that a friend from Pakistan shared with me.
    Carrots have become my very favorite veggie and I know they will shine with the flavours you have given this dish. Great recipe!

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    1. Hi Robyn, you'll love the combo of carrots and black mustard seeds. SO good! Thanks for the comment.

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  36. Love anything Indian, what a gorgeous salad. now to find black mustard seeds!

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    1. Hi Evelyne, Indian food is so good, isn't it? Just love how many different flavors it has! And it tends to be pretty healthy, too. Thanks for the comment.

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  37. I can't remember the last time I added mustard "seeds" to a dish. Guess I don't make enough Indian food. Love this simple salad and being a carrot lover, I can guarantee that this is one I'll try. Good call on the cayenne! :) Thanks John!

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    1. Hi MJ, we always add cayenne whenever we can. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  38. Nothing like a little condiment humour to top off a post!
    BTW, have I ever told you how grate your blog is?

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    1. Hi Beth, yup, condiment humor is grate. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  39. I've got some of those black mustard seeds in the pantry. Pinning this one, looks wonderful.

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    1. Hi Lea Ann, this is wonderful! Really a good -- and different! -- dish. Thanks for the comment.

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  40. I am intrigued by this. I love both carrots and mustard seed but never thought to combine them.

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    1. Hi Pam, isn't this a fun dish? So different! Thanks for the comment.

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  41. The carrot salad is phenomenal. So simple, healthy and delicious.

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    1. Hi Rahul, this is really good stuff, isn't it? Love its flavor! Thanks for the comment.

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  42. I love the looks of this salad! Lately I've been craving spicy food so much, so I may be trying this one out soon!

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    1. Hi Amy, if you want to make this really spicy, add a bit more cayenne pepper. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  43. Beauty is found in simple things, just like in this carrot salad!

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    1. Hi Katerina, this definitely is simple. And beautiful. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  44. Black or brown mustard seeds are new to me, too. I'll be on the hunt, too. I'm quite fond of carrot salads, too. And while I like Indian food (and I even have a couple cookbooks) I've never cooked anything Indian (well!) at home. Could be my first!

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    1. Hi Rosemary, this is one of the easiest Indian recipes I know! Also one of the best. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  45. color of the food looks nice. I like...:)

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    1. Hi HH, it's pretty, isn't it? Thanks for the comment.

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  46. Hi John,

    Like this simple and flavorsome salad. Both mustard seeds and carrots are really great complimenting each other.

    Zoe

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    1. Hi Zoe, aren't carrots and mustard seeds an outstanding combo? Love them! Thanks for the comment.

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  47. I eat a lot of carrots, but have not made a salad out of them. This sounds delicious. It sounds like it would be a wonderful side dish.

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    1. Hi Dawn, we like this as a starter, side, snack. :-) Very versatile! Thanks for the comment.

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  48. Such a beautiful carrot salad! I love how you added the Indian touch to it!!

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    1. Hi Shibi, isn't this pretty? And tasty! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  49. "Vegan rocks"I am just die heart fan of this saad and we used to have it in our lunch menus. I am very happy to see that you tried this recipe...

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    1. Priya, this is a great salad, isn't it? So much flavor, so little work! Thanks for the comment.

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  50. Wow. Trying to catch up today on reading....Am so sorry I missed this recipe. I love a good raw carrot salad and I love the mustard seeds used in this dish. Superb!

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    1. Hi Debra, isn't this a cool dish? SO much flavor. SO easy. So satisfying. Winner! :-) Thanks for the ocmment.

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  51. I think carrot salads are completely underrated. I tried one with vanilla in Europe last year that I'm about to recreate. I love the inclusion of mustard seeds.

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    1. Hi Amanda, vanilla? Wouldn't have thought of that, but it sounds terrific! Looking forward to seeing that. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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