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Carrot Cuisine: Cooking with Carrots

There are a host of recipes available that include carrots on the list of ingredients. They are also often eaten lightly cooked as an accompaniment to many meat and fish dishes.

Carrot Cake Image

The most nutritional way to eat carrots is to cook them lightly, steam them, or use them in stir fry. They are also ideal for juicing and eating raw in salads or cut into match-stick sizes and used with a variety of cold savory dips.

The British use carrots, along with other root vegetables such as parsnips and swede (a yellow turnip possibly from Sweden), in casseroles and stew during the winter months. Boiled beef and carrots is a traditional British Cockney (an area of London) dish which uses salt beef slowly pot-roasted with carrots and onions. This cheap and easy to prepare dish was commonly eaten by the working classes at the turn of the twentieth century. Boiled Beef and Carrots" also became a British Music Hall song made famous by Harry Champion1.

Carrots can be combined with rutabagas and mashed together with some butter and seasoning to make a delicious winter warming food which can be served with a variety of different meats. Carrot soup is easy to make and can be eaten hot or cold. The French make carrot 'vichy' which is made from carrots which are sautéed in butter with dark sugar to give them a caramelized flavor.

As carrots are grown throughout the world, there are recipes indigenous to various cultures which incorporate the use of carrots. Indian cuisine uses carrots to make bhajis. Indian carrot jelly is made by combining cooked carrots with milk, honey, saffron, cinnamon and gelatine2, while roasted carrots are frequently eaten in Morocco as an accompaniment to lamb.

In America carrots are sometimes hollowed out and stuffed with a mixture of cheese and green peppers and cooked in a hot oven for approximately fifteen minutes and served with roasted or grilled meat or fish. The versatile carrot has long been extensively used in Australia to make stews and casseroles. At first they were designed to be suitable for preparation in pots over a camp fire in the outback, but are now cooked on conventional stoves and in ovens as well. (We also found an interesting Australian recipe for a chicken and carrot loaf which is chilled before serving3.)

Carrots have been used to make a wide variety of unusual foods such as carrot ice cream, carrot marmalade, and German carrots cooked in beer, as well as Gajjar Halwa (often eaten with ice cream in India4). At one time even carrot cake was considered a new and exotic dessert.

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  1. BBC Radio 4
  2. Carrot Museum - Recipe List
  3. Aussie Cooking
  4. Ref to: http://archanaskitchen.wordpress.com/2007/11/21/gajjar-halwa/ - Gajjar Halwa Recipe at Archana's Kitchen

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