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Easy Carrot Jam – A Sweet Persian Condiment

Five Jars of Easy Carrot Jam - Moraba-ye Havij

Preserves | 3rd April 2019 | By

Yes, carrot jam is a thing. It’s been made in the Middle East since at least the 12th century. In Iran, carrot jam is flavoured with cardamom, rose and sometimes saffron. In this Persian inspired easy carrot jam recipe, I’ve used all three. It’s wonderful eaten just as it is on toast, but it also makes a delicious accompaniment to salty cheese.

Easy Carrot Jam (Moraba-ye Havij)

It’s jam, but not as you know it. It’s more like soft candied carrot. You can still use it in exactly the same way as jam, though it doesn’t spread as you’d expect. The texture is more like a coarse marmalade. Indeed, carrot marmalade was quite a popular recipe in WW2. It’s this quality that makes Persian carrot jam (moraba-ye havij) so easy to make. Unlike traditional British jam, you don’t need to worry about a setting point. You just keep cooking until most of the liquid has disappeared.

Jar of Persian Easy Carrot Jam - Moraba-ye Havij

The recipe requires citrus to temper any sweetness and add additional flavour. In traditional Persian jam, either limes or oranges are used. I’ve made mine with the zest and juice of two limes and a lemon. Saffron is entirely optional, but if you have some to hand, it does add a depth of colour and some extra floral notes. The flavours of cardamom and rose shine through and transform this rather mundane vegetable into something decidedly exotic. Some sort of alchemy occurs during the cooking process, turning a base of carrot into gold.

When it comes to the all important rose flavour, you can use rosewater, rose extract* or my rose syrup. I used the latter, of course. Use whole cardamom pods for this recipe, but just crush them lightly so that the seeds can properly infuse the jam. I leave the seeds in when potting the jam up and just warn everyone in advance, but you could fish them out beforehand if you prefer.

The quantity in the recipe below makes five small jars.

Carrot Jam’s Potted History

Mrs Beeton, way back in 1861, wrote a recipe for carrot jam which looks and behaves more like you’d expect a jam to do. But this Persian inspired easy carrot jam appeals to me more. An Arab in Andalusia recorded the first known recipe. It used honey rather than sugar and was flavoured with ginger and cloves. The Shakers brought carrot jam to the US in the 1770s and they used sugar. I have a recipe from Mrs M Grieve in A Modern Herbal published in 1931, so it looks like carrot jam was a ‘thing’ in the UK until relatively recently. I’ll forgo Maude’s inclusion of margarine, however.

Carrots for Breakfast?

In Iran, carrot jam is often eaten for breakfast along with bread and fresh cheese. I tried some of my easy carrot jam with salty feta cheese in a warm pitta bread and it was delicious. I’ve been having it for lunch rather than breakfast, but I feel I’ve got a glimpse of the real deal.

Persian Carrot Jam (Moraba-ye Havij) served with feta cheese and lettuce in a pita bread.

Easy Carrot Preparation

The only conceivable part of this recipe that might not be easy is grating this number of carrots. Hopefully, you have a food processor* to do this for you. You can find out more about my Von She 1000 on my Granny’s apple pie post. It’s what I use for anything more than one carrot. Grating them all by hand is just one step too far.

Grated Carrots

Other unusual recipes using carrots you might like

For more carrot inspiration take a look at my Carrot Recipes Pinterest Board. Whether you’re looking for soups, salads, sides, bakes or something else, you’ll be sure to find something you like.

Sharing

I’m sharing this exotic easy carrot jam recipe with Recipes Made Easy for #CookBlogShare.

Easy Carrot Jam – The Recipe

Persian Carrot Jam flavoured with cardamom & rose

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Easy Carrot Jam – The Recipe

5 from 7 votes
Five Jars of Easy Carrot Jam - Moraba-ye Havij
Easy Persian Carrot Jam (Moraba-ye Havij)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

An easy to make jam with no setting point required. The flavours of cardamom and rose shine through and transform this rather mundane vegetable into something decidedly exotic. Spread on toast or use to accompany salty cheese.

Course: Breakfast, Jams, Chutneys etc
Cuisine: Persian
Keywords: cardamom, carrots, jam, rose, saffron
Servings: 5 small jars
Calories: 487 kcal
Ingredients
  • 800 g coarsely grated carrots
  • 8 cardamom pods lightly crushed to open the pods a little
  • 500 ml water
  • 500 g golden caster sugar
  • 2 limes - organic or at least unsprayed
  • 1 lemon - organic or at least unsprayed
  • pinch saffron threads (optional)
  • 1 tbsp rosewater or 2 tbsp rose syrup or 4-6 drops rose extract
Instructions
  1. Place the carrots, cardamom pods and water in a large pan. A preserving pan is ideal but any large saucepan is fine.
  2. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes with the lid on.
  3. Add the sugar and saffron if using and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Finely grate the lime zest and stir in.
  5. Bring to the boil again and boil without a lid for 15 to 20 minutes when most of the liquid should have evaporated and the carrots soft.

  6. Add the juice of the limes and lemon about ten minutes after adding the sugar.
  7. Add the rosewater, rose syrup or rose extract* a couple of minutes before turning off the heat.

  8. Spoon into sterilised jars whilst hot and cover.
  9. Will keep in the fridge for several weeks.
Recipe Notes

If you leave the seeds in when potting the jam up do warn everyone in advance of eating. Alternatively, you could fish them out beforehand.

Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per jar. They're approximate and will depend on jar size and exact ingredients used.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Persian Carrot Jam (Moraba-ye Havij)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 487
% Daily Value*
Sodium 115mg5%
Potassium 592mg17%
Carbohydrates 121.8g41%
Fiber 5.9g25%
Sugar 108.6g121%
Calcium 60mg6%
Iron 1.1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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26 Comments

  1. angiesrecipes

    3rd April 2019 at 9:41 am

    Candied carrots sound even better than a real jam…wonder if it would be also nice to add some ginger in it? Love that pocket sandwich!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      3rd April 2019 at 1:54 pm

      I’m not so sure rose and ginger would go together very well, but ginger and cardamom would and I expect that would be very nice too.

      Reply
  2. Kavita Favelle

    3rd April 2019 at 10:25 am

    Oh what a fascinating recipe! I’ve never had carrot jam but I love carrot halwa, a sweet Indian dessert that my mum makes now and then. Lovely!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      3rd April 2019 at 1:56 pm

      Oh, I remember trying to make carrot halwa when I was a teen. I can no longer remember what I thought about it or even how successful it was, so I reckon I ought to try making some.

      Reply
  3. Mandy

    3rd April 2019 at 11:11 am

    I love the sound of this Choclette. I have made pumpkin jam before which was amazing and would love to give this one a go.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      3rd April 2019 at 1:57 pm

      I’ve made pumpkin butter, but not jam. I bet it tastes really good too.

      Reply
  4. jenny paulin

    3rd April 2019 at 11:12 am

    what a stunning recipe and I love the look of your fragrant carrot jam. My OH would love this served alongside a slab of cheese. Thank you for mentioning my recipe x

    Reply
    • Choclette

      3rd April 2019 at 1:58 pm

      Love the sound of your carrot balls Jenny. CT is quite enamoured with the carrot jam – alongside a slab of cheese, naturally.

      Reply
  5. Jill's Mad About Macarons

    3rd April 2019 at 1:11 pm

    I absolutely love your deliciously exotic touch to something so healthy. Love the look and sound of this, Choclette!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      3rd April 2019 at 2:00 pm

      I’m not sure it’s desperately healthy as it has a ton of sugar in it, but it is desperately delicious 😀

      Reply
  6. Janice

    3rd April 2019 at 2:45 pm

    What a lovely way to preserve carrots and so unusual.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      3rd April 2019 at 6:39 pm

      It’s really good Janice. CT is going through it really fast.

      Reply
  7. Galina V

    3rd April 2019 at 6:46 pm

    That carrot jam sounds so tasty! I’d love to try it. I imagine it’s wonderful with cheese and crackers.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      4th April 2019 at 7:30 pm

      I’ve only had it with bread and cheese so far, but yes I’m pretty sure it would be good with crackers too.

      Reply
  8. Katie

    4th April 2019 at 8:20 am

    Love the sound of this. I remember my grandmother telling me she used to make carrot jam. The cardamom sounds delicious. I can imagine using this with cheese as you suggest

    Reply
    • Choclette

      4th April 2019 at 7:28 pm

      My grandmother was a brilliant cook, but I don’t remember her making jams of any kind. I’d definitely have been up for some carrot jam. It’s really delicious stuff. It’s really good to hear your grandmother used to make it.

      Reply
  9. Jacqui Bellefontaine

    4th April 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Gosh its years since I made carrot Jam but seeing your picture I Can just remember the taste again and it is rather good. I shall have to think about making it again now. Thank you for the reminder and sharing on #CookBlogShare

    Reply
    • Choclette

      4th April 2019 at 7:31 pm

      Oh, you’ve made carrot jam Jacqui. I’m so impressed. Was yours more of a jammy jam?

      Reply
  10. Anna | Once Upon A Food Blog

    4th April 2019 at 1:35 pm

    This looks like one of those simple but slightly unusual recipes that I love to try. I also love that you don’t have to look for a setting point – I always start making jam way too late and am up at midnight still waiting for the darn stuff to set!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      4th April 2019 at 7:32 pm

      Oh I hear you Anna. I have spent many an impatient hour waiting for jam to set. This isn’t really what I’d call ‘jam’, but it is really delicious.

      Reply
  11. Edinburgers

    4th April 2019 at 2:53 pm

    Really like the sound of this. Our little one is mad about carrots so might need to try this out and see what he thinks. Also I had no idea carrot jam was a thing 🙂

    Reply
    • Choclette

      4th April 2019 at 7:36 pm

      Yay, glad to have enlightened you 😀 Let me know if your little one gives it the thumbs up or down if you do make it.

      Reply
  12. Kat (The Baking Explorer)

    5th April 2019 at 9:24 pm

    I’ve never heard of carrot jam before – I’d love to try it!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      6th April 2019 at 12:04 pm

      This is one of the reasons I love blogging so much. There’s always something new to learn or try.

      Reply
  13. Jo Allison / Jo's Kitchen Larder

    8th April 2019 at 8:46 pm

    The sound of your carrot jam as well as your lovely lunch of warm pitta with feta and said condiment is making me really hungry. What a great and unusual recipe! I love a good chutney and would love to try your jam with all its wonderful flavours.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      8th April 2019 at 8:51 pm

      I thought it might last us quite some time, but it’s so good we’re going through it more rapidly than I’d anticipated.

      Reply

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