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Persian-Style Carrots and Black-Eyed Peas

Scott Phillips

Servings: 8 as a side dish

A mix of sweet, warming spices and a burst of saffron complement the carrots while peas absorb and reinforce the flavors in this evocative dish. I like to serve this as part of a mezze (shared plates that kick off a meal) or as a side dish.


For the spice mix

  • 1/4 cup dried rose petals, finely ground in a spice grinder
  • 1/4 cup ground cinnamon
  • 2-1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. green cardamom seeds (from 12 to 15 pods)

For the carrots and peas

  • 1 cup dried or 2 cups frozen black-eyed peas
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium carrots, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. chopped garlic
  • Pinch saffron threads, soaked in 2 Tbs. hot water for at least 15 minutes
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice; more to taste
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 130
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 35
  • Fat (g): 23
  • Saturated Fat (g): 12
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6
  • Cholesterol (mg): 170
  • Sodium (mg): 680
  • Carbohydrates (g): 53
  • Fiber (g): 6
  • Protein (g): 36


Make the spice mix

  • Combine all of the ingredients and set aside.

Cook the carrots and peas

  • If using dried peas, combine them with 4 cups water in a 3-quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in 1 heaping tsp. kosher salt and let sit off the heat for 10 minutes to absorb the salt. Drain. If using frozen peas, cook them according to package directions.
  • Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots, bell pepper, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the peas, 1-1/2 tsp. of the spice mix, the garlic, saffron and soaking liquid, and 1/2 cup water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender, about 5 minutes, adding more water 1/4 cup at a time if the pan seems too dry. Stir in the honey, lemon juice, and parsley. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, and serve.

Make Ahead Tips

The spice mix can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 months.

If using dried peas, they can be cooked up to 1 day ahead; store airtight in the refrigerator.


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