Moroccan spiced carrot, chickpea, date and almond salad with pomegranate molasses yogurt

This ones a bit of a mouthful isn’t it!

I have recently discovered Donna Hay’s recipes and she’s quickly become one of my favourites (I know, I think I’m a bit late for the party). It was a simple spiced carrot salad of hers that I came across that inspired me to make this. I am not a huge carrot lover but this looked like something I would enjoy.

Saying this, my version below barely resembles Donna’s as I went for it with the new additions. I like a salad with lots of different flavours and textures.

I added dates, almonds and pomegranate molasses for sweetness, crunch and sourness and played around a bit with everything else. Feel free to do the same according to your taste, for example I’ve used a fair amount of dates here but use less if you want it less sweet. Some goes for the spices, add more or less for your preference.

The yoghurt is optional but highly highly recommended, especially if, like me, you need something to cool you down after eating the slightest bit of heat.

My favourite dates are medjool as they are really plump and sticky. They would be lovely in this recipe but they can be pretty expensive if you’re using them a lot. Any other dates would work well and you can soften them by soaking in warm water.

I actually made this a while ago, when the weather was still warm and it was lovely with BBQ meats. But there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy it in colder months, with some roast chicken.

I’ve found that this is best left in the fridge to chill for a few hours when the flavours have had the chance to develop.

Moroccan spiced carrot, chickpea date and almond salad

SERVES

3-4 as a side dish

INGREDIENTS

130g dates
200g grated carrot
1 x 400g can of chickpeas
2 tbsp. cold pressed rapeseed oil or olive oil + more to serve
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
4 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. pomegranate molasses
40g flaked almonds
Salt (optional)

To serve

Natural yoghurt (I love The Collective Straight Up)
Pomegranate molasses

METHOD

If you are not using medjool dates, place your dates in a bowl, cover with warm water and leave to stand to moisten up a bit.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and let them dry a bit in a colander.

Peel and grate the carrot and use some kitchen paper to dab it a bit to remove some of the moisture.

Place the chickpeas and the carrot in a large mixing bowl together and set aside.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the garlic and fry on a medium heat until golden.

Add the spices and stir and cook for a minute or so.

Add about 4 tbsp. of water to the pan to loosen the mixture a little to create a sort of thin dressing. Leave to cool before pouring it over the carrot and chickpea mixture. Add a drizzle more oil and stir well so that the dressing coats everything.

In a dry pan, toast the flaked almonds for 4-5 minutes until golden and fragrant. Add these to the salad.

Drain the dates and roughly chop them. Add these to the salad.

Add 1 tbsp. of pomegranate molasses and stir everything to combine well.

Taste and add another tbsp. of molasses and a touch of salt if you think it needs it.

Place in the fridge to cool. Serve cold or at room temperature with some natural yoghurt drizzled with pomegranate molasses.

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