Roasted carrots in a dhania-chilli-yoghurt sauce

Assume you’re planning your favourite classic roast, be it poultry, pork, lamb or beef. The next question is: what should you cook as an accompaniment to equal its grandeur? The answer, fellow kitchen mechanics, is roasted carrots with a dhania-chilli sauce in yoghurt.

Roasted carrots in a dhania-chilli-yoghurt sauce
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To make roasted carrots in a dhania-chilli-yoghurt sauce for six, you will need:

  • 10 adult but not geriatric carrots
  • 30ml-40ml Cape extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and coarsely ground black pepper on demand

For the sauce

  • 250ml plain Greek yoghurt
  • 15ml honey
  • 1 lime
  • 30g dhania leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 finger-length chillies
  • 15ml white wine vinegar
  • 80ml Cape extra virgin olive oil
  • Small quantity of salt

First, let me remove your mounting anxiety. You can, indeed you should, cook the carrots in advance of the roast meat or poultry. The serving temperature of the roasted carrots is no big deal as they taste quite remarkable even a few hours out of the oven.

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Begin by revving the oven to the red line at 220°C. Clean the carrots, then cut them lengthwise. If the top ends are very thick, quarter these sections. The idea is to have all the pieces more or less the same thickness.

This ensures even cooking and elegant presentation. Combine the 30ml to 40ml of extra virgin olive oil with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper in a bowl and use this to coat the raw carrot sections.

Arrange these in one layer on a baking or roasting pan and drip the remainder of the flavoured oil over them. Stick this into the oven and roast for 25 minutes. Be vigilant during this process. Carefully turn the carrots every 10 minutes.

At the end of the roasting period, they will be lightly caramelised and splendidly tender – a gift from the cooking gods.

Now for the sauce. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Examine the fresh dhania and remove all life forms and gritty bits of Mother Earth. Select 30g of the leaves (no stems!).

Cut the chillies lengthways and discard the seeds. Squeeze the lime and reserve the juice.

Commission the food processor and pour in everything on the sauce ingredient list except for the plain Greek yoghurt. Reduce the contents to a coarse puree and taste-test for saltiness. Pour this over the roasted carrots just before serving, and with a teaspoon, dot the entire surface of the roasted carrots with the yoghurt.

Be prepared for extra applause for this side dish.

David Basckin is a freelance journalist and videographer.