Stuffed red carrots with tamarind sauce (Jazar mahshi bil tamr el hindi)

Stuffed red carrots in tamarind sauce ( جزر احمربالتمر الهندي jazar ahmar mahshi bil tamr el hindi)
Since many of you are fans of learning the Arabic names of these traditional recipes, shall we start by explaining the gibberish between the brackets 😉 ?

Jazar is Arabic for carrots, ahmar is red, tamr hindi is tamarind (the dates from India if you want to be literal!) and mahshi means stuffed.

If you are a fan of the Arabic cuisine in general and the Palestinian in particular, “mahshi” is a word that you will hear often! The Palestinian cuisine has a deep-rooted love affair with stuffing stuff! you see we are masters at stuffing different cuts of meat, a long list of vegetables, and leafy greens. Today we’re focusing on carrots but just to give you an idea of how far this vegetable stuffing affair goes, we stuff carrots, eggplant, potatoes, zucchini, cucumber, tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, cabbage, vine leaves, lettuce leaves or a combination of the above!

Each vegetable or combination of vegetables is cooked in a sauce the compliments the texture and flavour of that vegetable. There is your basic tomato sauce, lemon and garlic sauce, stock, tamarind sauce, yogurt and jameed based sauces.
In this case, the sweet and sour notes of tamarind sauce and pomegranate molasses play beautifully against the freshness of mint, the zing from the garlic and the earthy sweetness of the carrots. A true fiesta of flavours that you just have to try.

If you can’t get red carrots where you live, you can totally use the orange ones or cucumbers and follow the recipe as written. If you go with cucumbers just remember to adjust the cooking time as cucumbers need a shorter cooking time

Stuffed red carrots in tamarind sauce

16 red carrots

For the stuffing
1 cup rice
125 g minced beef
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried mint
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon olive oil

To fry the carrots
1/2 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
To cook the carrots
3 tablespoons olive ol
1 small onion chopped
1 tablespoon dried mint
the cored pulp of the carrots
6 cups water
1 cup tamarind concentrate (recipe below)
1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt
Garlic tasheh
1/4 cup olive oil
1 head garlic
1 tablespoon dried mint
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 cup fresh mint
To prepare the tamarind concentrate
200 g pack tamarind
4 cups water


Prepare the carrots
Peel the carrots, cut the ends off and core them
I would suggest soaking the carrots in water for 6 hours with a 1/4 cup lemon juice. This will soften the carrots and make coring them easier or you can buy cored carrots if they are available where you live

To prepare the tamarind sauce:
Break apart the tamarind and place in a pot

Add the water and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes stirring occasionally till the tamarind pods soften
Strain the sauce, set aside

Prepare the stuffing
Wash and soak the rice for 15 minutes
Drain the rice then mix it with all the remaining stuffing ingredients
stuff the carrots leaving 2 cm clear at the top and try not to pack the stuffing too much to allow for the sauce to seep through

Prepare the Carrots
Fry the carrots
Place the olive oil in a pan and fry the carrots a few at a time for 3 to 5 minutes on each side.
Take out of the oil, set aside

Prepare the cooking sauce
1. In a pot add the olive oil and onions
2. cook over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes
3. Add the carrot cores and cook for 5 to 7 minutes
4. Add the garlic and cook for 3 more minutes
5. Add the mint, tamarind, pomegranate molasses, salt and water and bring to a boil over medium heat then lower the heat and allow it to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes

Cook the carrots
Add the carrots to the cooking sauce and cook covered over medium heat for 30 to 40 minutes or until the carrots soften(Just poke a fork in one of them to check after 30 minutes)
If the carrots are soften, check one by tasting it to make sure the rice is cooked through too, if not, give it 10 extra minutes

Prepare the tasheh
Add the oil and garlic in a pan over medium heat
Cook for 3 minutes or until you can smell the garlic
Add the chopped parsley, mint and dried mint
Cook for 2 more minutes then add the tasheh to the pot with the carrots and the sauce and stir gently.
Cover and allow the flavours to fuse for 15 minutes

Serve with yogurt or hashweh rice (any leftover stuffing, cooked separately)