This carrot side dish is the best carrot dish this side of carrot cake. Although there are chilies involved, the dish is not that hot, and what heat exists is balanced by the sweetness from the grating and cooking of the carrots. The dish goes well with both fish and beef main dishes. This dish is done in the style of Kerala, a province in southern India. The rceipe comes from Mangoes and Curry Leaves by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, page 143.
We have substituted two bay leaves for the original 10 curry leaves in the recipe. If you can get the curry leaves, go for it! We also use low-fat yogurt though the recipe authors prefer full-fat. We think the calorie/flavor trade-off is fine.
2 tbsp raw sesame oil or vegetable oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
½ cup minced onion
¼ tsp turmeric
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 green cayenne chilies, slit lengthwise and seeded
2 bay leaves
3 to 4 medium carrots, coarsely grated (about 1½ cups)
½ tsp salt
coarsely ground black pepper
½ cup plain yogurt, preferably full-fat
1. Heat the oil in a medium heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds and partially cover until they pop, then add the onion and turmeric and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the ginger, chilies and bay leaves and stir-fry until the onion is very soft, about another 5 minutes. Toss in the carrots, salt, and pepper. Stir-fry for about 5 minutes, or until the carrots are very soft.
2. Turn the heat to very low. Add the yogurt and stir for a minute or so to warm the yogurt through and blend flavors; do not allow it to boil.
3. Serve in a shallow bowl.