Carrot in Bengali & Indian Food: Things to Know

Carrot is usually orange in colour though white, black, purple and yellow varieties of this root vegetable also exist. Carrot is a very nutritious vegetable.

It is eaten raw and cooked as well. One of the best things about carrots is its versatility.

From salad to sandwich, curry to halwa, payesh to pickle, this cute and versatile vegetable plays a fascinating and flavourful role in a delicious variety of dishes.

In this blog, we will talk about the most popular carrot dishes in India.

Carrot in Bengali and Indian Cuisine

Use of Carrot in Bengali and Indian Cuisine

Salad:

Carrot is a favourite ingredient to prepare some delicious salads. Sliced carrots, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes tossed with some salt, black pepper, pomegranates, and grapes make a full meal for your lunch.

You can also add boiled chicken, mushroom and eggs to make it more wholesome. Carrot sambharo is a kind of simple Gujrati salad.

Carrot slices are sautéed with chopped green chillies and mustard seeds. Whereas chillies add some heat to salad, mustard seeds function as flavour enhancers.

Breakfast & Snacks:

Carrot paratha is a much loved dish on the breakfast table. Grated carrots, boiled potatoes and a few spices are added to wheat flour to make dough. You can use either refined oil or ghee to make parathas. Ghee definitely adds to the taste.

Carrot is one of the key ingredients in veg cutlets. Cutlets – whether veg or meat – bomb flavours on your taste buds. They are not very difficult to make but extremely delicious to taste.

The hot, crispy veg cutlets are flavourful addictions at snack time. Veg chops and veg cutlets use the same ingredients and taste almost the same.

The only noticeable difference is their shape. Both of them are very popular street foods in India, especially in Bengal.

A variety of boiled vegetables including carrots, beetroots, potatoes, raw bananas etc are mashed together and mixed with some basic spices.

Take ball-sized portions out of the mixture and give them a round or cylindrical shape.  Dip them in cornflour batter; coat them with breadcrumbs and deep fry in oil.

Serve them hot with coriander and tomato sauce. Either of them – veg cutlets and veg chops – is a great dish to enjoy a lazy evening or share some good time with your guests.

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Curries:

Bengalis don’t have any famous signature carrot dish of their own. However, carrots appear in many of their curries. Aloo-gajarer tarkari is a light curry prepared in Bongs’ kitchen and usually served with roti or luchi.

In winter season, peas are also added to the curry for an added crunch and flavour whereas in summer season, beans are a favourite addition to this veg curry.

Sometimes, no spices are added and only salt and a little bit of sugar drum up the magic. However, you can make a spicier version of this curry and serve it with hot rice or roti.

Usually, the curry is cooked dry but a soupy version tastes no less awesome.

Carrot curry is a slightly rich version of aloo-gajorer tarkari prepared in Bong style.

It is loaded with the goodness of carrot, tomatoes, onion, herbs and some basic spices. Small cubes of carrots are cooked in onion-tomato gravy.

Fresh coriander leaves sprinkled all over the gravy at the end of cooking make the dish look great and taste extremely delicious.

You can serve it with plain or flavoured rice, roti, chapatti or any kind of Indian wheat bread.

Carrot poriyal is a popular South Indian recipe. Carrot is the queen in the dish and accompanied by curry leaves and a few spices.

Sometimes coconut is also added for the extra flavour. Carrot cubes or slices are stir fried and cooked with other ingredients.

It is a quick-to-make, light and lip-smacking recipe. Sometimes, beetroots are also added to make the recipe healthier and tastier.

Veg shakuti is a spicy, flavoursome and delicious Goan dish prepared with carrots. The coconut based gravy incorporates the complex flavours from the added spices.

You can use other vegetables of your choice to up the nutrition profile of the dish.

Carrot is also used to make Kolhapuri style veg curry. A special mix of masala, also called Kolhapuri masala, is added to the vegetables.

The spice-loaded dish is best served with chapatis, phulkas, parathas and jowar/bajra bhakri.

Korma:

Vegetable korma is an imitation of chicken or mutton korma and prepared with a mix of vegetables including carrot and potato.

The style of preparation remains the same. Relish the dish with steamed rice, laccha or any type of paratha.

The dish is dedicated to those who swear by greens but will also surprise the non-veg crazies.

Rice Preparation:

Carrot is integral to fried rice. Finely chopped carrot, capsicum, cauliflower, cabbage leaves, beans, lemon grass etc are cooked with half-boiled basmati rice (a kind of flavoured rice).

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Cashew nuts and raisins are added for subtle sweetness. Fried rice and chilli chicken – a famous and mouth-watering combination! Try them together and keep me in your prayers.

Veg tehri is a mildly spicy version of veg pulao. Basmati rice is cooked with a myriad of vegetables, fewer spices and coriander leaves.

This delicious one-pot meal is a veg version of famous Awadhi cuisine, most of which include mutton. It is a favourite dish in North India.

Both veg tehri and veg fried rice are aromatic (mostly due to flavourful rice) and instant pot meal. Both take care of your health and taste buds.

Soups & Drinks:

Carrot is used to prepare an exciting variety of flavourful and healthy soups and drinks. Carrot kanji is a fermented probiotic drink made from beetroots, carrots and ground mustard and water.

Soup is a hot favourite during sweltering heat. Try carrot and tomato soup to feel cool from within. You may sprinkle some black pepper to enhance its taste.

Carrot raita exhibits an unusual use of carrot. The simple and easy recipe uses carrots with an interesting and tasty tempering of asafoetida at the end.

You may also add ghee towards the end to perk up its flavour. If you don’t like the flavour of asafoetida, skip its use; the dish will still taste amazing.

Want to enhance the nutrition and taste quotient of carrot raita? Add beetroot to the recipe; both the colour and flavour will leave you awestruck.

If you wish, add some chopped onions and capsicum for a crunchy bite. Cooked in yogurt, the vibrant, creamy texture will lure you to jump at it.

Pickle:

Is there anything that Indians cannot make a pickle of? So, why is the carrot an exception?

Carrots loaded and layered with spices make the pickle variety a must-have to add some tasty tanginess to your meal.

Desserts:

Carrot claims a royal presence in several deserts. Gajar halwa is a favourite dessert with many Indians.

Grated carrot is slow cooked in milk and then mixed with khoya, sugar, raisins, cashew nuts and pistachio. The dish is topped with grated dry fruits. ‘Yummy’ would be an understatement to describe the taste.

Carrot burfi is another delicious desert. It resembles the preparation of carrot halwa. After the carrot is boiled and mixed with sugar, khoya and dry fruits, it is poured on a ghee-greased flat pan.

After the mixture cools down, it is cut in the shape of squares and topped with cashew, pistachio and raisin.

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Carrot chutney is a tasty dish served with rava idli or dosa. You can try it with phulka or paratha as well. It is a simple preparation but awesome in taste.

The experimental Indians try a variety of pudding dishes. Carrot pudding is a classic desert that soaks the goodness of both milk and grated carrots. It is a simple and scrumptious recipe.

Carrot cake recipe is doing rounds. The eggless cake is a perfect dessert delight for those who don’t eat egg or don’t like its smell in the cake.

It is a quick recipe and a nice way to celebrate any occasion. However, you don’t need any reason to cook it in your kitchen, right?

Is Carrot Tasty?

Raw carrots are crunchy and slightly sweet to taste. When cooked, it absorbs the flavours of spices and tastes accordingly.

Other than this sweet flavour it does not have any taste of its own.

What Are the Best Recipes for Carrots?

Of all the carrot recipes I have tasted, carrot halwa is the best. I also love Bong style carrot curry that is cooked with potatoes and peas.

Carrot cake is the new addition to the list of my favourites. I have sweet teeth. Does it give you any surprise that I relish carrot pudding?

I am a paratha lover and so it’s no wonder that carrot paratha is a dish I love to dig in. I am yet to try carrot pickle. I do hope it won’t let me down.

Oh yes, I have recently made carrot chutney. It’s plain but just superb. Waiting to hear from you about your favourite carrot dishes.

Questions & Answers:

What Dishes Can be Made from Boiled Carrot?

Some people use boiled carrots instead of grated carrots to prepare carrot halwa. Boiled carrot is also used to prepare kebabs, soups and pudding.

How Do You Know When Carrot is Cooked?

Carrot changes its colour after it is properly cooked. To be sure, you can use a fork. If it easily gets into the flesh, the carrot is done.

What Goes Well with Carrot?

It depends on the kind of dish you are preparing. Most carrot dishes are best enjoyed with Indian wheat breads. Some also go well with steamed rice.

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