Saturday, 9 February 2008

Rumi Carrots with Dukkah and Tahini

I have been out of the habit of doing any so-called reviews lately but I did go to Rumi last week and have an amazing meal with my parents and E. We were as impressed as on our previous visit.

I forgot my camera and it was too crowded to have felt comfortable taking photos, but I was so impressed with one dish that I made an attempt to recreate it tonight. Do you know the scene where you sit in a restaurant oohing and aahing over a dish and ruminating on how they made it? That was my mum and me. We were pondering the simple but inspired dish of carrots with dukkah and tahini.

The carrots weren’t the only wonder of the night. In fact everything was just incredibly delicious – the food, the service, the elegant tableware. It could have been a little quieter but you can’t resent so many others enjoying a place when the food is so good. We had cheese cigars which were the small crisp batons that I had expected my recent attempt to be. There was also spiced roasted cauliflower with sultanas and pine nuts; pumpkin and spinach with crisp shards of pita bread; and pomegranate juice. For dessert we shared ice-cream that excited everyone but me, Persian fairy floss that looked like a pile of dust but tasted excellent, and a wonderful pastry dish with caramelised banana and some creamy sauce with pieces of halva. No wonder my dad was able to cope without his pancakes for Shrove Tuesday!

I’m sorry not to do Rumi justice with these brief notes, but it did inspire me to rethink roasting carrots. I roasted carrots recently and they were ok but a little tough. At Rumi the carrots were soft and melting as roast vegetables should be. So I decided I needed to revise my approach. Sometimes I parboil potatoes before roasting so I did this for the carrots tonight. What I did is barely a recipe but the carrots tasted good enough to blog!

Rumi Carrots with Dukkah and Tahini
Serves 2

Peel a couple of carrots and cut into batons. Boil for 2-3 minutes and drain. Toss in some olive oil and salt and pepper and roast for about 30-45 minutes til soft and starting to darken at the edges. Dust the roasted carrots with dukkah and drizzle with a light tahini sauce.

My sauce was 1 tbsp tahini, 2 tbsp yoghurt and a squeeze of lime juice but it was too thick and too much so next time I might just try a bit of tahini and lemon juice without the yoghurt. Nevertheless these carrots were much much better than my usual roast carrots.

On the Stereo:
Hergest Ridge: Mike Oldfield


  1. I love roasted veggies and also use the par-boiling trick often. But I've never heard of dukkah; what is it? (And that restaurant sounds fabulous, by the way).

  2. Your blog was just recommended to me as I am having a case of the food blogging blues. I must say it is very nice without being pretentious -- which is kind of the dilemma I'm having as far as moving forward with my own food blog. It was a blogger named spacedlaw who recommended me to take a look. And it looks nice!


  3. thanks Ricki - Rumi was indeed fabulous - the food was cooked to perfection and so innovative! I have put a link to Wiki in the post but basically dukkah is a middle eastern spice mix that has become very trendy in melbourne cafes - you dip pitta bread in good olive oil and then in dukkah. Then people like me get enthused and buy it and it sits in the pantry and I forget the dipping and wonder what to do with it - my mix is sesame seeds, hazelnuts, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper - I should just remember to put it on steamed veg like the tin suggests!

    Thanks for visiting betty - I sympathise with the food blogging blues. I too have my moments of blogging angst, so it is always nice to have some kind words coming my way! As I have said on your blog, when I get too anxious about blogging I remind myself that I do it for enjoyment and inspiration rather than to be a performing pony!

  4. Johanna, I am so intriguing by the Dukkah. You gave your own ingredients but what do you personally do with them? I saw there were many ways to make it. Do you toast the sesame seeds or hazelnuts? Or do you just mix everything in a food processor and it is ready to use? Thanks so much. I have been following Ricki and her blog as I try to eat an anti candida diet. I love different nationalities and their food so your blog is getting added to my list of must follow. Thanks

    1. Hi Carol - the Dukkah was from a tin that I bought - I regret to say that I have never made Dukkah - would love to one day but can't give you much advice on it - loved the dish though and love Ricki's blog too!


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