Has it ever happened to you that you have all the necessary ingredients to make a delicious meal but instead you don't know what to cook and are not inspired enough to cook up something new! These are the times you call your mom, sister, friend, or even a neighbor and ask for their opinion. We need suggestions and helpful comments as to how to do our hair, what to wear to a wedding, what color purse matches our outfits and so on. In my case, several days ago I was looking at a 5 pound bag of organic carrots and wondered about the possibilities.
In our home we almost have a set menu that everyone is more or less OK with. There are things that I may make several times a month and then there are those dishes that I rarely make for no special reason and dishes that include carrots are among them. When it comes to carrots, we prefer to eat them raw. There's usually a plate of sliced fruits and vegetables such as carrots, celery, broccoli, apples and oranges on our kitchen table at all times. I needed some inspiration to make something different and new with them. So, I decided to put the question to the fans of Turmeric and Saffron's Facebook Page. That's a community that I'm so grateful for and appreciate to be a part of. There were wonderful responses but the idea of making a Persian carrot preserve with cardamom as suggested by one of the fans had me so excited that I decided to give it a try!
You can either cook carrots, water and sugar together from the start, or first cook the carrots lightly to soften them a little. However, for me, softening the carrots is not an issue since we are used to eating them raw.
Moraba-ye Haveej - Persian Carrot Jam
5 cups carrots, peeled and shredded, or pureed when cooked
4 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 tablespoons slivered orange peel (to remove bitterness add cool water, boil for 3- 4 minutes, discard water, repeat 2-3 times) I added the orange pulps too
Juice of 1-2 lemons/limes (I used juice of 2 limes)
5-6 cardamom or 1/3 teaspoon crushed (I used whole, I like to remove them afterward)
1-2 tablespoons rose water *optional
Place sugar and water in a heavy bottom medium size non-stick pan, stir and bring to boil on high heat. Boil for 5 minutes, add carrots and orange pulp, boil on high to medium heat and stir frequently.
Remove foam if necessary and don't cover the pan. Cook for 45 minutes, test to see if the sugar and water content is thick enough.
To test this, take a spoon of the liquid and wait till it becomes a little cooler to the touch. You don't want to burn your fingers. Then, with your index finger take some of the liquid and hold it between your index and your thumb for a second, then separate them. If there's a sticky, syrupy feel between the two fingers, then it has reached the desired level of thickness. However, if it seems too watery, then it is not ready yet and let it cook for another 10-15 minutes on high heat.
In the last ten minutes of cooking add the lemon juice, cardamom and rose water. Making jam requires some patience and time.
Pour the jam into a clean, sterilized and dry glass jar, let it cool, close the lid tightly and refrigerate when cool enough. Serve with butter, cream cheese, thick and creamy yogurt and warm bread. For more information on canning please see the following site, here .