Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Maroon Carrots

Peeled Maroon Carrots
Maroon Carrots (skins peeled)

Deep earthy maroon on the exterior and a brilliant red in the interior with an orangish-white center. Subdued sweetness, and lots of crunch.

That is how I would describe maroon carrots. In addition to looking unique, maroon carrots also have nutritional benefits – more beta-carotene than their orange counterparts, and they have antioxidants known as anthocyanins, according to Wise Geek.

This old-time variety is popular in north-Indian farmers markets and usually appears during winter and early spring seasons. They have also started to appear locally here in Seattle, thanks to the rejuvenated interest in all things ancient and natural. At Pike Place Market, they were priced at one dollar a bunch, and I bought one bunch. They still have roots attached, so I peeled the skin and cut with mandoline to thin rounds. They looked so pretty and fresh, within minutes half were gone. Crunch, crunch…

With the remaining half, I have prepared pappuchaaru for our meal today. Toor dal protein, maroon carrots and vine-ripe tomato, soured with tamarind, sweetened with jaggery and seasoned with hing tadka, the pappuchaaru had enough flavor to permit omission of rasam powder. Very mild, soothing to the stomach, chaaru tasted delicious.

Pappuchaaru with Maroon Carrots, Garnished with Haldiram’s Boondi

Pappuchaaru with Maroon Carrots:

Half cup – Toor dal (kandi pappu)
Half cup – Carrots, sliced to thin rounds
One – Ripe tomato, finely chopped
One – Onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 tablespoon each – tamarind pulp and crushed jaggery
½ teaspoon each – Turmeric and salt
¼ teaspoon – Red chilli powder

Hing tadka:
1 teaspoon – peanut oil
6 curry leaves
Pinch each- cumin and mustard seeds
1/8 teaspoon- hing (asafoetida/inguva)

Rinse toordal and take them in a pressure-cooker. Add about two cups of water. Cook to soft. With a wood masher, gently mash the dal to smooth consistency.

Once you are ready with the dal, start the chaaru preparation. In a vessel, heat peanut oil. Add and sauté curry leaves, cumin and mustard seeds to fragrance. Add hing and toast for couple of seconds. Add onion, tomato and carrot. Sauté for about five minutes. Add the cooked toor dal, also tamarind, jaggery, turmeric, salt and chilli powder. Add about a cup of water. Mix. Partially cover with a lid, and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes to wonderful aroma. (The carrots bleed and color the preparation to reddish-brown, but not too much like beetroots.)

To serve, add a spoonful of cooked rice to a cup. Pour about three to four ladlefuls of pappuchaaru. Mix with a spoon or your right hand. For a tasty crunch, add a papad, few chips or boondi. Enjoy.

(NP: Carbohydrates from rice, quality protein from toor dal, vegetable goodness from carrot and tomato, spices like turmeric and hing for well being.)


A question for you, dear readers

I am more likely to prepare this recipe, if it has

Soup in title, because I think of only Soups as healthy.
Chaaru in title, because I value traditional goodness and age-old wisdom.
Good nutritional profile (NP). I pay more attention to the ingredients list than titles.


Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Carrots,Toor Dal (Tuesday May 6, 2008 at 1:12 pm- permalink)
Comments (42)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

42 comments for Maroon Carrots »

  1. #3. I don’t care for titles. I pick up the recipes based on nutritional profile.

    Comment by Renuka — May 6, 2008 @ 1:16 pm

  2. #4. Any age old title, because I know our elders prepared the recipe for some good reason.

    Comment by shubha — May 6, 2008 @ 1:40 pm

  3. I Say,
    Ans#3 :I don’t care for titles. I pick up the recipes based on nutritional profile.

    Comment by Soumya — May 6, 2008 @ 1:44 pm

  4. #3 among the options – I do not care for title; and ALSO depends on ingredients – if something looks novel like Persimmon, Brussel Sprouts..or something I have missed badly form home and it appears magically on Mahanandi 🙂

    Comment by Aparna — May 6, 2008 @ 2:22 pm

  5. I would say yes to all the questions, Indira! I believe soups are healthy and refreshing, I value traditional goodness and age-old wisdom and I also consider the ingredients list, whether they have good nutritional values.

    Never saw maroon carrots! A great way to use them in pappu charu! You’re so creative.

    Comment by Uma — May 6, 2008 @ 2:35 pm

  6. I pay more attention to the ingredients list than titles.
    It also partly depends on what is sitting in my crisper :).
    As for the nutritional bit…I would not be wrong of I said that most dishes in your blog are “healthy and nutritious” so I don’t worry about that much.

    Comment by Akhila — May 6, 2008 @ 3:31 pm

  7. Indira,

    I was looking for these. I have childhood memories of these carrots. My mom makes gajar halwa with these … out of the world. Also my grandmom used to make kanjee, a sour juice used for a good appetite. I never liked that though.

    Wish i could get hold of these here and make halwa.

    Comment by Parul — May 6, 2008 @ 4:58 pm

  8. Definitely #3. Never heard or saw maroon carrots…Will check out the farmers market near my house this week. Does maroon give out color like beetroot?

    Comment by shanthi — May 6, 2008 @ 5:05 pm

  9. It mostly depends on what I am looking for that particular day. But then I am open to all foods (vegetarian of course) but the recipe’s simplicity and nutrition plays a huge role in Bookmarking that recipe 🙂

    This is wonderful recipe. And yes. Bookmarked 🙂

    Comment by DK — May 6, 2008 @ 6:14 pm

  10. I would say option #3.

    If i could prepare only traditional…then i would not have known brocolli, asparagus…etc…

    Comment by Priya — May 6, 2008 @ 6:56 pm

  11. I read this blog everyday…so it doesn’t matter what caption the post has! But for trying this recipe, I would say its third choice..Good nutritional profile (NP). In addition, it is the unlisted fourth choice…to try out a new recipe 🙂

    Comment by Gayathri — May 6, 2008 @ 8:17 pm

  12. #3 ingredients and easy of making prompt me to attempt a recipe

    Comment by sreelu — May 6, 2008 @ 8:48 pm

  13. I tend to look at the ingredients and the finished picture. I have been learning about Indian cooking for a year and am enjoying the fresh ingredients and health benefits. Thank you for your blogging! The zuchinni korma is my all time favorite here but I have tried new vegetables in recipes I’ve found here because it just looked so good!

    Comment by alyclepal — May 6, 2008 @ 9:02 pm

  14. For me, if the ingredients list is long then my brain gets confused and I lose interest 🙂

    So, for me the ingredients list is important and needs to be a short one.

    Comment by Anjali Damerla — May 6, 2008 @ 9:46 pm

  15. The ingredients are the most important — titles are just that — titles — and are not as significant as the ingredients.

    Comment by dw — May 6, 2008 @ 9:47 pm

  16. My answer would be #2 and #3. If it is from Mahanandi its taken for granted that #2 and #3 are satisfied. Thats my experience in the past 1.5 years! What more I can say?

    Comment by Nirmala — May 6, 2008 @ 10:24 pm

  17. Indira, I visit your blog everyday, so I really don’t look into what title it is…and as a bonus your pictures are always great looking and the ingredients so simple mostly!…

    Comment by Srivalli — May 6, 2008 @ 11:21 pm

  18. Its #3 for sure Indira and sometimes #2 too, because most of the age old recipes I have come across cover #3 too and their combination is such that it is very balanced. Definitely not #1 for a simple reason that not all soups are healthy, most of them use maida or white sauce as a thickening agent…Taking them once in a while is fine, but if you are under the illusion that all soups are healthy and then u start taking the white sauce based one ( one bitter truth – most of the not very healthy foods are better tastewise 🙂 ) then you will land in serious trouble isn’t it?

    Comment by Jaya — May 6, 2008 @ 11:38 pm

  19. None of the above. I pick up recipes when they look and sound amazing, period.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 7, 2008 @ 12:02 am

  20. Hi,
    Wanted to email you, but could not locate your email address on the
    blog. we have 2 cool widgets ( a slideshow widget and a content widget
    ) which can help enhance site interaction and reader’s experience. pl
    contact me at to know more.


    Comment by Ashish — May 7, 2008 @ 12:21 am

  21. definitely #3. I prefer non-spicy, highly nutritious, salt-less, satwik food so Titles does not matter 🙂

    Comment by Shalu — May 7, 2008 @ 4:18 am

  22. Indira,
    I would say #3 the ingredients and Nutritional profile, but the titles also interest me, when I try traditional recipes. LIke Pappu charu, Pappu charu anagane amma chese pappu charu gurtukuvastundi, and I want to try it with the new ingredient in it, the marroon carrot.. the picture is so enticing.

    Comment by madhavi — May 7, 2008 @ 5:41 am

  23. Indira,

    The ingredient list is what matters not the title…be it traditional or not. The simplicity of the dish and ofcourse a beautiful picture of the outcome for visual appeal are the driving factors for how soon I am going to dish it out.

    Comment by Isha — May 7, 2008 @ 6:02 am

  24. I bought these carrots recently and was disappointed as I found the white core quite “woody.” I do like the sweet red carrots one sometimes sees around in farmers markets and snap them up when I have the chance.

    For me the title matters not a whit. I look at the ingredient list mainly. And a photo if there is one, although in many of my more basic cookbooks there is no such thing. Some of my favorite recipes have titles in an Indian language I neither speak nor understand, and it doesn’t change the fact they are smacking good meals. I do admit a nice description of the dish can sway me one way or another, as an author’s obvious enthusiasm for something can get me to try something I otherwise might not. And an especially florid title (Wedding Day Liver Curry) can tempt me to try something. But mainly it’s the ingredient list.

    Comment by Diane — May 7, 2008 @ 6:32 am

  25. for me it is not the title but the nutrition and the ingredients.

    Comment by chitra — May 7, 2008 @ 7:18 am

  26. Its more a combination of those factors.I choose to make something because of the nutritive value, taste and ease of preparation.

    Comment by Never Mind — May 7, 2008 @ 9:06 am

  27. I’d go with 3, but i like knowing a bit about the older traditions and a part of me feels closer to my heritage when i know that 🙂

    Comment by Sushma — May 7, 2008 @ 9:07 am

  28. Hi indira,
    #3 Nutritional Profile. Especially with Indian food, I am wary of going overboard with carbs. I look for a good combination of veg, fibre, protein and carbs. Ironic that I love baking! Titles seem misleading because when I look at ingredients, it connects me to similiar dishes from my cultural / ethnic background.

    Thank you for introducing me to a new ingredient.

    Comment by ms — May 7, 2008 @ 9:13 am

  29. #3 is my choice. Though I always like a traditionally touched recipe with name and taste too. That’s why sometime I publish my recipes it with its original “Gujarati” name only. Coz I just love it that way.
    That’s really a very lovely colored soup Indira. I add boondi to kadhi sometimes :D.

    Comment by Pooja — May 7, 2008 @ 9:26 am

  30. #2 and #3, dear Indira — unless I am here at Mahanandi in which case I am inclined to make this because it *looks* so delicious! 🙂

    Comment by Linda — May 7, 2008 @ 9:32 am

  31. #1 is my choice. Title is as important
    as everything else. Most of the times
    Iam looking for something specific, soup,
    salad or daal. When the title makes it easy
    to look up the receipe, it reaches more ‘foodies’ in my opinion. Ofcourse #3 is important based on when and why you are looking for the receipe. Depending on that, sometimes NP may not be critical.

    Comment by Gowri — May 7, 2008 @ 10:38 am

  32. Hi Indira

    I like having the traditional name in the title as that is what the dish is truely known as. When looking at Mahanandi I have never had to think about whether a recipe is healthy or not. They always are. So, number 3 is not essential for me 🙂

    … now if I can find these maroon gajars.. in Delhi they make kaanji with them sometime.

    Comment by Jyotsna — May 7, 2008 @ 12:13 pm

  33. Hello Indira! I agree with Uma, I would look for the title, nutritional profile and also the age old wisdom.
    I never saw these Maroon Carrots in Toronto anytime as yet, we used to prepare Gajar Ka Halwa out of them.
    The dish looks delicious! Will give it a try sometime, thnx for sharing.

    Comment by Mona — May 7, 2008 @ 12:33 pm

  34. #3, of course :). I wish the carrots stay maroon even after peeled. So I don’t bother spoiling their natural beauty.

    Comment by Suganya — May 7, 2008 @ 2:55 pm

  35. Hi Indira,
    This is my first comment on mahanandi, even though I go visit your site regularly. I am more likely to make a recipe with an ingredient that I am searching for (#3 again). I am always on the look out for gfcf and nutritious food recipes for my kids (which I am always able to find on your blog). I’ve tried your raagi dosa and almond milk recipes, although I haven’t been successful in making my son eat/drink them 🙁

    Comment by suma — May 7, 2008 @ 5:17 pm

  36. Thanks friends for responding to the question. For some recipes, the title comes easily but for some, it’s a struggle. To go with Telugu name, which is my mother tongue, or Hindi (popular language in India) or English. And to title with the names I know like chaaru/rasam or in English terms like soup. Which way to go and how important it is to pick a right title, I often think about this aspect of recipe writing. Your responses helped me a lot. Thank you.

    I am familiar with gajar halwa prepared with maroon/red carrots. But this kanji recipe, that’s a new one, and sounds good. Hope to find the recipe on Web search.

    Comment by Indira — May 7, 2008 @ 5:51 pm

  37. #3 is what I would go by. And this is the first time, I have heard of maroon carrots…I think a trip to Pike place market is soon in order.

    Comment by Shobana — May 7, 2008 @ 6:01 pm

  38. If it has a traditional name, I’ll definitely read the recipe.

    I try out a recipe if it has a good NP. 🙂

    What a beautiful picture. 🙂 Maroon carrots – where can I find you in TO?

    Comment by Kay — May 7, 2008 @ 6:48 pm

  39. 🙂 i’d make it cause it looks yummy

    Comment by sruti — May 7, 2008 @ 10:37 pm

  40. I come to Mahanandi for the traditional roots all your recipes have. The name is definitely important, and I would like its authentic Telugu name whenever possible. My $0.02!

    Comment by PS — May 8, 2008 @ 1:12 pm

  41. Hi Indira,

    Been reading your blog and trying out some recipes for about a year now, maybe more. Never posted a comment here though. About the carrots, I remember these for being available in the winter in India. They would be more expensive than the regular variety and some shopkeepers would stain normal carrots maroon and try to sell them for more. They make awesome gajar halwa I agree.

    About your question…well your answers are all partly right. None of them would make an ideal answer however. The reason you choose a recipe or an ingredient to put on the blog is simply the fact that it stirs some emotion in you eg nostalgia, indulgence etc or just appeals to one of your senses so much. At least that’s why I read your blog…

    Comment by Prachee — May 9, 2008 @ 10:42 am

  42. Re: first choice. For those of us reducing sodium intake in our diets, soup is usually not the most healthy. A large portion of soup can contain as much as 1.5 grams of sodium, although most are more likely to be .5 to 1 gram per portion (that’s still a lot). The problem is compounded in vegetarian cuisine where the considerable extra body provided by meat juices is absent. Yes, one can make up for the lack of sodium by adding seasonings and spices, and with the judicious use of the immersion blender, but alas, this goes off topic. At any rate, thanks for your efforts.

    Comment by 1937w — May 10, 2008 @ 5:28 pm

Your Comment


(required but not published)

RSS feed for comments on this post.

It sounds like SK2 has recently been updated on this blog. But not fully configured. You MUST visit Spam Karma's admin page at least once before letting it filter your comments (chaos may ensue otherwise).