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Curried carrot mash with brown butter and quick-pickled chillies

Dips and dressings Vegetarian
Serves 4 as a side
Prep 10 min
Cook 35 min

You’ll be surprised how much flavour you can get from carrots when you give them the chilli heat and sweet spice treatment. To make this mash dairy-free, use olive oil instead of butter; if you do, heat the oil with the ginger and seeds for only a couple of minutes, until fragrant.


1-2 red chillies, cut into thin rings at an angle (and deseeded, if you prefer less heat)
1½ tbsp white-wine vinegar
½ tsp caster sugar
8 carrots, peeled, cut in half lengthways and roughly chopped into 2cm pieces (800g net weight)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp curry powder
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
30g unsalted butter (or 2 tbsp extra olive oil)
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into very thin matchsticks
½ tsp nigella seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tbsp lime juice
1 spring onion, trimmed and finely sliced on an angle
5g mint leaves, finely shredded


  1. Put the chillies, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl with a quarter-teaspoon of salt, massage together and leave to pickle for at least 30 minutes, and ideally overnight.
  2. Put the carrots in a steamer (or colander that fits inside a large pot with a lid), put on a high heat, cover and steam for 25 minutes, until you can cut through them easily. Tip the carrots into a food processor with the oil, curry powder, cinnamon and a teaspoon of salt, and blitz to a semi-smooth mash (it should have some texture).
  3. While the carrots are steaming, put the butter, ginger, all the spice seeds and a generous pinch of salt in a small saucepan on a medium heat. Cook gently for three to five minutes, stirring occasionally, until the butter begins to foam and turn light brown and the seeds become fragrant, then take off the heat.
  4. Spoon the mash on to a large plate, and make dimples all over the surface with the back of a spoon. Drizzle over the butter with the ginger and seeds, then sprinkle over the lime juice. Drain the pickled chillies, scatter over the top, and finish with the spring onions and mint. Serve warm.