Vadouvan-Scented Carrot Raita

Makes about 2 cups.

Savory Vadouvan balances & enlivens sweet carrots in this yogurt-based dip. Serve it with cooked vegetables, crudités, flatbreads, or hearty crackers.

2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil

4 medium carrots (about 8 ounces), peeled, sliced in 1/8-inch-thick “coins”

4 teaspoons Vadouvan

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 lemon

Salt & black pepper

1 cup full-fat, plain Greek yogurt

Chile flakes & nigella or black sesame seeds, for garnish

Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a skillet set over medium heat. When the oil shimmers add the carrots & stir them to coat with oil. Add a generous pinch of salt & pepper; cover the pan & cook for 5 minutes. Uncover the pan & stir the carrots; cover the pan again & cook for another 5 minutes, until the carrots are tender & slightly caramelized. 

Add the garlic; cook for 1 minute. Stir in the Vadouvan & cook for another minute or two.  Stir in the zest & juice of half the lemon. Let the carrot mixture cool for about 5 minutes. 

Put the carrots into the bowl of a food processor fitted with metal chopping blade. Add the yogurt & remaining teaspoon of olive oil, plus another pinch of salt. Process until very smooth. Taste, add more salt or more lemon juice, to taste. Before serving, garnish the top with a sprinkling of chile flakes & the nigella or sesame seeds.