Carrot Jam is a colorful and delicious part of a heartfelt autumn. So, why don’t we enjoy it during our Thanksgiving dinner this year!
If you like crunchy snacks, carrots are a great go-to. These veggies are packed full of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium.
You can find carrots in any grocery store year-round. Although, the best time to enjoy juicy delicious carrots are during summer and fall. Carrots are root vegetable that you can enjoy in salads, soups, make them into pickles, eat them raw, or enjoy them as savories.
When I was growing up in Tehran, having breakfast with family was a ritual that I enjoyed a great deal. Our breakfast table was filled with colorful, flavorful and aromatic ingredients that awakened my senses. Every morning, I ate hot flatbread fresh from bakery, with white feta cheese and sliced cucumbers, along with tomatoes, and walnuts. My mom was big on using our garden herbs like basil and mint on any occasions. I used to eat my carrot jam with the rich yellow butter. To this day, I consider breakfast as the best course of the meal.
In the Persian cuisine, carrot jam is as common as strawberry preserve in the western cuisine. The use of jam is not only limited to breakfast table. In many parts of Iran, you can see small servings of various jams and preserves such as carrot and quince jams on tables.
We, Iranians, believe that eating sweets like carrot jam, after a rich meal, will aid digestion. I used the metaphor to enjoy my savory sweets even more, convincing myself I’m doing something healthy and delicious.
For this Thanksgiving, you may want to add delicious carrot jam onto your assembles.
Two bowls of Carrot Jam for Thanksgiving Table
Prep time: 15 min.
Cook time: 2 hrs.
Ready in: 2hr. & 15 min.
1 lb. carrots, peeled and grated
1 lb. sugar
¼ cup rosewater
6-8 cardamom pods, seeds removed for use
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sliced pistachio for garnish (optional)
- Place the grated carrots in a pot over medium heat and cover. Allow the carrots to become tender while steaming for about 30 minutes. The color will turn deeper.
- Add sugar, water, rosewater and cardamom seeds along with enough water to cover grated carrots.
How to add cardamom seeds
There are two options in using cardamom seeds: the seeds can be used as whole in the jam if you don’t mind chewing on the super aromatic seeds while enjoying your jam. If the somewhat hard seeds are too much for you, consider grounding the seeds. Now using the grounded cardamom will affect the jam color and will turn it dull. So, soak the grounded cardamom in the rosewater for 30 minutes. Use a fine mesh strainer to add the cardamom infused rosewater to the cooking jam.
- Allow the syrup to thicken a little bit. Then add freshly squeezed lemon juice. The addition of lemon juice not only balances out the sweetness, it helps the jam from going bad and getting moldy. After 2 hours of slow cooking over medium heat with the lid put on sideway, the jam is ready.
Let the carrot jam cool off in the pot. It is important to remove the lid; otherwise, the sweat dripping back down into the jam during cooling period will result in mold appearance later. The pot can be covered with a kitchen cloth to prevent anything from getting into it.
After it has completely lost heat, transfer to sterile jars. Noosh-e jān!
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