Derek and I made this dish as a side for Christmas dinner, and it was a hit. Next time we would reduce the amount of chile (which I did for the ingredients below.) The sweetness of the carrots comes out during cooking, so if things seem a little hot, just keep at it. The mint was a wonderful touch, and I love that it can be made ahead of time. Enjoy!
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 serrano or jalapeño chile, minced (the recipe calls for 1 or 2, but we found that heat to be overwhelming)
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, lightly toasted and coarsely ground or crushed
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, lightly toasted and coarsely ground or crushed
2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal, about 1/4 inch thick
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
¼ to ⅓ cup cooked black quinoa
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or cilantro
Heat olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add garlic and chile. Stir for about 10 seconds and add ground coriander and cumin. Stir for about 10 seconds, until mixture is very fragrant, and add carrots, sugar and salt to taste. Sauté, stirring often or tossing in the pan, for 5 minutes and turn heat down to medium. Continue to cook, stirring often or tossing in the pan, for another 10 minutes, until carrots are tender and lightly colored.
Add butter, quinoa and mint or cilantro and stir or toss in the pan for another minute or two, until quinoa is warmed through and butter has melted. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot or warm.
Advance preparation: The dish can be made up to a day ahead and reheated in the pan