Moroccan-Style Spicy Carrot Dip

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Note: Harissa is a Tunisian spice pasted made from piri-piri peppers. It can be found in cans or bottles in most major supermarkets or specialty grocers.

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

Moroccan-Style Spicy Carrot Dip

About This Recipe

Yield:makes about 1 quart dip, serving 12 to 16
Active time:10 minutes
Total time:25 minutes
Special equipment:food processor
This recipe appears in: Serious Entertaining: A Grilled Pizza Party Moroccan-Style Spicy Carrot Dip


  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into rough chunks
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 (1-inch) knob ginger, grated on the medium holes of a box grater
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup pitted green olives, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley or cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons harissa, or more to taste (see note above)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 recipe grilled naan or store-bought flatbread heated on grill or in a dry skillet


  1. 1

    Place carrots in a large saucepan and cover with water by 1/2 an inch. Add sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender, liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is a golden blond caramel color, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat and immediately add half a cup of water. Transfer carrots and caramel to the bowl of a food processor.

  2. 2

    Add cumin, coriander, garlic, ginger, capers, olives, parsley (or cilantro), and harissa. Pulse until the carrots are roughly chopped, 6 to 8 one-second pulses, scraping down the sides of the processor as necessary. With processor running, drizzle in most of olive oil, saving a couple tablespoons for garnish. Season to taste with more salt.

  3. 3

    Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with remaining olive oil, and serve with warm flatbrad.


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