From hating carrots to cooking every part of the vegetable

I hated carrots as a child, whether it was the raw carrots in salads, the various preparations made with carrots, or the juice my brother used to have when I was slightly older. Talk to my mother about my eating habits as a child, and you’re sure to hear about the time I refused to eat the gajar-matar (or was it methi?) ki sabzi, and we both sat at the dining table all afternoon, till I finally gave up…and ate the sabzi. The only form in which I happily ate carrots was as a halwa. But then, who doesn’t love gajar ka halwa? 

My first acceptance of carrots was in the baked vegetables and macaroni hotpot that I started making when I was in college. Since they were my stand-by recipes after I moved out, it meant I always had a couple of carrots in the pantry.

Adulting brought about many changes in my diet and cooking. I started experimenting…and soon carrots became an essential part of my diet. From being a vegetable that went into baked vegetables, macaroni hotpot, and the occasional stir-fried noodles (…and as an essential part of Arya’s food) to something that brought joy by itself as crudités, in avial or raita, and even in cake!

Last year I took another step towards carrots, when I started roasting them in the oven with olive oil and salt, to serve as an evening snack, or as a side to a chicken dish. 

And then I started noticing “carottes fanes” in the market. And thought of those zero-waste recipes that had greatly inspired me during the first lockdown in 2020. Inspired, I picked up a bunch, taking my relationship with carrots to a whole new level. 

🥕 As a marinade for chicken, with some celery (or coriander), lemon, garlic, salt and pepper. The end result is tangy, green curry with a flavour that soaks into the chicken, giving it a very unique flavour.

🥕 As a substitute for coriander, or spinach to make green rice. Not quite as delightful as spinach rice (because spinach really is my first love), but a good change of flavour.

🥕 As a filling for sandwiches, sauteed together with some onions, garlic, salt and lemon. Once again, a wonderfully healthy and interesting change from the usual fillings.

…and my current favourite:

🥕 As a filling for chicken breasts, with olive oil, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Served with carrots (of course) and potatoes cooked in butter, this was quite a gourmet meal.

Quite a journey from the girl who couldn’t stand carrots!

3 thoughts on “From hating carrots to cooking every part of the vegetable

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