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Carrot curry is a nonspicy carrot dish that's popular in South India. Mostly made in a dry form, the preparation calls for grating carrots or slicing them very thinly. It's a very popular side dish and is mostly eaten for lunch or dinner. Chapatis, steaming hot sambar, or rasam and rice go well with carrot curry. It can be whipped up in less than 10 minutes with presliced carrots.
There are many variations on the basic dish depending upon the ingredients added. Some people prefer to add peas, cabbage, or beans to the preparation. Beetroot, broccoli, and cauliflower are some other ingredients that may also be used. A few South Indian cooks prefer to add coconut milk to the carrot to give it an exotic twist. Mostly, this is a very mildly spiced dish suited to every palate.
The major ingredients used for a carrot curry preparation include diced or grated carrot, grated coconut, and onions. A little channa dal and urad dal are used for the seasoning in addition to mustard and cumin seeds. Green or red chillies add hotness to the dish. To begin with, the carrot is washed, peeled, and sliced or grated depending on the cook's preference. The carrot is then cooked in a saucepan with a little water until it is done or is lightly steamed.
Oil is heated in a vessel, and the channa and urad dal are added, then it is fried for a few seconds, and the cumin, mustard, and asofetida are added to the dal. At this point, some prefer to add a little chopped ginger along with the chili. Sliced onion is thrown in and sauteed until it becomes brown. The carrot is added to the dish and allowed to cook a little. Grated coconut or coconut milk is added just before removing it from the heat.
If coconut milk is used, the mixture is allowed to cook until all the liquid has evaporated. The carrot curry is garnished with curry leaves and coconut leaves. Served hot, it tastes delicious with phulkas, rotis, and steamed rice. While coconut milk contributes a great deal of flavor to the carrot curry, it may be omitted when cooking for very small children or the elderly because some may find it difficult to digest. Carrot curry is also known as gadjar kari in Hindi and carrot poriyal in Tamil.