Al-Uzza's Arabian Carrot Dip with Baharat

Arabian-Carrot-Dip.jpg
Arabian-Carrot-Dip-2.jpg

Today, I thought I'd share with you a delicious spicy dip – I'm all about making spreads and dips and pestos with fresh vegetables, herbs, nuts & spices to boost the nutritional value of my meals and keep things extra tasty. You can serve this with crackers or vegetable sticks, or get more creative and spread on sandwiches or add to salads and grain bowls, or even as a pizza base with eggplant, onion and chickpeas! Be totally creative with it! 

This is a food that will balance Svadisthana (your orange Sacral Chakra) governing creativity, sexuality, joy and enthusiasm. If this chakra had a motto, it might be "I enjoy life fully" or, in my own translation, "treat yo'self!". And with this dip, you can do exactly that!

Baharat, by the way, simply means "spice" in Arabic. It is an aromatic, warm, and sweet spice blend that gives this dip an exotic flavour and fragrance that tantalises the senses. Interestingly, Arabian tribes once worshipped Al-Uzzā, the Meccan goddess of power, might and the planet Venus, incarnating as the Evening Star. She was known as "the divine lover of the nature god" – I like her already! The main idol of Al-Uzza, which the goddess herself was believed to often manifest in, was a cluster of three acacia trees in the valley of Nakhla near the town of Mecca. I like to imagine I'm channelling her as I enjoy this goddess food...

ingredients

3 carrots peeled and grated
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp salt
½ cup coconut yoghurt (kefir or vegan sour cream also work well!)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
½ cup pine nuts, toasted

Bahārāt spice mix
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp ground coriander seed
3 cloves
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cardamom
a pinch of cinnamon

method

Begin by preparing the spice mixture. Simply add all the ingredients in a dry non-stick skillet and heat, stirring until it begins to smoke ever so slightly and become aromatic. As soon as it begins to smoke, add the oil, carrot and a pinch of salt and heat until the carrot is just cooked through. It should be just tender and fragrant. Set aside to cool down a bit – and don’t forget to pick out those 3 cloves! In a small pan, gently toast the pine nuts on a medium heat until lightly golden.

In a food processor or blender, combine the carrot, pine nuts and all remaining ingredients and pulse until the desired consistency is reached – I like my dips a little chunky, like a pesto. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with a little extra sprinkle of paprika and pine nuts.