For my birthday, I am making a variation of Uyghur Shashlik and Naan for dinner. Meat and bread call for salads and a traditional Xinjiang dish would be a carrot salad. The last time I made this I used large Asian carrots. Today, I decided to use the colorful heirloom carrots that have become common in California.
In addition to having different colors, the heirloom carrots do not all have the same texture and taste. There are subtle variations. This small change produces a far more complex, interesting and flavorful salad.
Karl’s Uyghur Heirloom Carrot Salad
1-2 lb. heirloom carrots (mix of orange, purple, and yellow)
¼ cup Zante currents
2+ Tbs. black sesame seeds, separate uses
½ tsp. coriander seeds
½ cup Greek yogurt (for Vegan use a soy yogurt)
4 tsp. honey
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
¼ tsp. Indian chili power
1. Coarsely grate carrots and put them in a medium mixing bowl.
2. Toast the sesame seeds in a small skillet over a medium heat. Put them in a small bowl and set them aside.
3. Toast coriander seeds in a small skillet over a medium heat and crush them finely.
4. Add the ground coriander, yogurt, honey, salt, and chili to the small bowl and mix well.
5. Add the currents and the dressing to the carrots and toss well to coat the carrots.
Note: Traditionally you would use large raisins, but I prefer to use the smaller currents.
6. Let the salad rest for at least 20 minutes to meld, tossing occasionally.
7. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with black sesame.