Roasted whole carrots with coriander and cumin butter

Roasted whole carrots with coriander and cumin butter

 I was back home a few weeks ago, rummaging through my parents’ collection of cookbooks. And there, at the bottom of the pile was a cookbook I thought was long lost. This particular cookbook is out of print, and it’s not well known at all. But it contains a collection of the most wonderful recipes, and one recipe, in particular, is the inspiration for my roasted whole carrots with coriander and cumin butter.

Ismail Merchant was an Indian born film producer, the other half of the Merchant Ivory film production company responsible for movies such as Heat and Dust, A Room with a View, The Bostonians, Howards End, The Golden Bowl, and together they racked up six academy awards.

But what is less well known is that Ismail Merchant was a brilliant cook and the writer of cooks books. And it was one of these, old, battered, with yellowing pages, I brought back from my parents. And it’s this book that helped me to develop this recipe for roasted whole carrots with coriander and cumin.

What are the best spices for roasted whole carrots?

Carrots are naturally sweet and go well with spices that complement its natural sugars. Coriander and cumin work really well with carrots. Herbs such as fresh thyme, parsley,  or oregano are perfect companions. A simple clove of garlic mashed into butter is simply sublime. In Ismail’s book, there is a recipe for carrots with dill and honey – try it, it’s wonderful.

What temperature should I roast my carrots

I would roast carrots at a lower temperature, 180 degrees Celcius, any higher for this recipe and the butter will start to burn.

Do I need to boil my carrots before roasting?

For this particular recipe, I didn’t. I simply gave the carrots a good scrub before coating them generously in the coriander and cumin butter.

Even for when I made carrot hummus I didn’t boil my carrots before roasting. Keep things simple.


Roasted whole carrots with coriander and cumin butter

  • Author: Tooting Mama


  • 400g chantenay carrots washed and scrubbed
  • 25g unsalted butter (room temperature, or soften in the microwave)
  • rock salt (a pinch)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (peeled)
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • A twist of pepper


  • Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celcius
  • Put the salt and garlic into a pestle and mortar, and crush into a paste
  • Put the salt and garlic paste into a small bowl, add the butter, spices and a twist of pepper
  • With a fork combine all the ingredients into a spicy buttery paste
  • Put the carrots into a small baking tray and using your hands, smear the butter all over the carrots
  • Place the baking tray in the oven (middle shelf) for around 30 minutes
  • The carrots are done when skewer pushes easily through the carrots.
  • Serve immediately



roasted whole carrots with coriander and cumin butter


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