A good friend of mine just returned from a trip where she trekked across the Himalayas and was drenched in vibrant colors during the local holiday, Holi that welcomes in Spring each year. She is one of those people that we all slightly envy for her ability to jump on a plane at just about any moment and say yes to all of the amazing travel adventures we all dream of experiencing. Despite tinges of envy that resonate each time I hear of her next adventure to an exotic faraway land, I also love and respect this about her, and wish there was a tad more spontaneity in all of us. Travel is good for the soul, we all need a little more of it! Of course, traveling first hand would surpass the stories I get to hear when she returns, but I’m still grateful for the tips and adventures she shares, and of course the local gifts I receive upon her return. This time around, her travels rewarded me with fresh spices and chai blends; inspiring me to create this recipe of spiced garam masala carrots and fresh hummus. This a great spring salad. The carrots are dusted with vibrant spices, and lightly broiled to add a bit of char and character while maintaining their fresh and crunchy integrity.
Garam masala is a traditional spice blend that is commonly found in Northern India and other South Asian countries. Its content varies depending on its origin, but a typical Indian version may contain peppercorns, cloves, cumin, cardamom, and cinnamon. The spices are toasted whole until aromatic and then ground into a fine powder. In Hindi, garam means “hot” and masala means “spice”, with the use of the word garam referring to the intensity of the spice rather than its capsaicin heat content. Garam masala is a very aromatic spice with a mildly sweet flavor. Like all spices, garam masala contains many powerful micronutrients and antioxidants, and thus lends both flavor and nutritional benefits while cooking.
Garam Masala Roasted Carrots
Serve warm with spiced hummus, sliced avocado and arugula.
- 1 bunch organic carrots, greens trimmed
- 1 t garam masala
- 1 T olive oil
- salt to taste
Wash carrots and peel if desired. Depending on the size of each carrot, slice in half or quarters lengthwise. Place on a baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil, garam masala and salt. Rub the spices into the carrots. Turn oven to broil and place oven rack about 2” below the flame. Broil for approximately 8 minutes. This cooking time will vary depending on the intensity and strength of the flame, so check carrots every 2 minutes, turning them at least once. Remove when they begin to brown and char.
Spicy Chickpea Hummus
- 1 can organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 c organic tahini
- 1/4 c olive oil
- zest and juice of 1 lime
- 1 T hot sauce
- 1/2 t salt
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. For a silky smooth consistency, push the hummus through a fine mesh strainer to remove any large chunks and outer husk of chickpeas. I was wanting to make a harissa hummus, but was unable to find harissa at the time I was creating this recipe. I used Siracha, but feel free to use any hot sauce you have on hand.