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Recipe: Middle Eastern Carrot Salad


Recipe: Middle Eastern Carrot Salad
Dave Scantland
This easy carrot salad is a great accompaniment for any Middle Eastern main dishes. It goes especially well with lamb and beef. In this recipe, it's worth the extra time and effort to grind the cumin yourself. I use a blade-style coffee grinder for spices, but you can also use a mortar and pestle. If you're not used to cumin, it can be strong. Start with 1/2 teaspoon and add more to taste. The dressing is also good tossed with beets.


  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh ground cumin seed*
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Pinch granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 ounces carrots (2-3 carrots), peeled and trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped


1. Stir together the yogurt, olive oil, garlic, cayenne, sugar, pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the ground cumin. (For better flavor, refrigerate the dressing for an hour or two before assembling the salad.)

2. Grate the carrots on the coarsest holes of a box or flat grater, or in a food processor, being careful not to get the carrots too fine. You should have about 1-1/2 cups grated carrots.

3. Right before serving, toss the carrots and mint together. Add enough dressing to coat the salad thoroughly (you may not need it all). Adjust seasoning, adding more cumin and salt to taste.

*For freshly ground cumin, pour the cumin seeds into a small dry skillet and place over medium heat. Toast the cumin seeds until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool and grind in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle.

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