Persian carrot jam for Queen Esther

  • place PRE 10 minutes
  • place COOK 30 minutes
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Decadent Persian feasting is a recurring setting in Esther’s story as she uses her feasts to communicate with her husband and triumph over the evil Haman. To this end, I chose to make a rich and bright Persian recipe, Moraba ye Haveej, a sweet and savoury carrot jam, fit for a queen and her table. Carrots give a beautiful texture and a healthy dose of vitamin C and beta carotene. This is a recipe that can be canned and used year round as a punchy jam or accompaniment to salty cheeses or flatbreads. It can also be used as a sweet and savory hamantaschen filling.

Adapted from Feeding Women of the Bible, Feeding Ourselves by Kenden Alfond, Turner Publishing (to be published on March 10 2020) 

  • Add grated carrots, sugar, water, orange juice, cardamom, and cinnamon to a medium pot and stir well to incorporate.
  • Place the pot over low heat and let the jam slowly cook away. It is important to use low heat and slowly warm the jam at the beginning, to prevent sugar crystals from forming during cooling.
  • Once the sugar is melted, increase the temperature to medium/medium high and bring the jam to a gentle boil. At first, it will be thin and liquidy.
  • Continue cooking, letting the carrots cook through and the liquid reduce.
  • When the carrots have become darker and slightly translucent and the mixture reaches to a jam-like texture, stir in a spoonful of rose or orange blossom water.
  • Place the jam in sterilised jars, or any sealable container to store in the fridge. Store sterilised jars in a cool, dark place. Refrigerate once open or if in regular containers.
Makes: 4 medium-sized pots of jam 230g each

500g organic carrots, peeled and finely grated

350g soft light brown sugar

375 ml water

375ml orange juice

1 tbsp lemon juice

4 cardamom pods, ground

Pinch of cinnamon

1 tbsp rose or orange blossom water

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