In this tandoori-inspired recipe from Milk Street, garam masala is combined with crushed fennel seed and turmeric for the carrot seasoning. A shallot-infused melted butter topping includes more of the spice mix with fresh cilantro and mint. Full-fat Greek yogurt better facilitates charring due to its lower moisture content.
It is recommended that you buy carrots with their green tops still attached. Even though you discard the greens, they tend to be fresher and on the slimmer side. The greens are super delicious and loaded with nutrients so if you’re not keen on tossing them, consider using them in a variety of ways such as pesto, chimichurri, fritters, or in your homemade vegetable broth.
Don’t forget to coat the baking sheet with cooking spray. The yogurt-covered carrots otherwise will char and stick to the pan. Don’t use large carrots for this recipe. Bunched carrots with tops are thinner and more tender than bagged carrots.
2 bunches carrots with tops (1 lb. total), tops removed and discarded, halved crosswise on a sharp diagonal
4 Tbsp. salted butter
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 medium garlic clove, finely grated
1/3 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup lightly packed fresh mint, chopped
Heat the oven to 500°F with a rack in the middle position. Mist a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, mix together the garam masala, fennel, turmeric and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. In a large bowl, mix the yogurt with 4 teaspoons of the spice mix. Add the carrots and toss to coat. Distribute the carrots in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Roast until well charred and a skewer inserted into the carrots meets no resistance, 25 to 30 minutes; stir the carrots once about halfway through.
Meanwhile, in an 8-inch skillet over medium, melt the butter. Add the shallot and garlic, then cook, stirring, until beginning to brown and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the remaining spice mix and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove from the heat and set aside.
When the carrots are done, add the spiced shallot mixture, cilantro and mint directly to the baking sheet and toss with tongs. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then transfer immediately to a serving platter. NOTE: Don’t let them stay on the baking sheet which will char the tender herbs and onions. Cover with foil if your other dishes are not ready.
Yogurt is a common marinade throughout the Levant region, a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean region of Western Asia. Not only does it act as a tenderizer, but it also creates a crust on the meat and carries the flavor of the spices (here those are the shawarma heavy-hitters like cumin, coriander, and turmeric).
The chicken can marinate for as little as 30 minutes, or up to 12 hours in the fridge if you’re not in a rush, making it quite doable without tons of planning. Roasting the bird alongside halved shallots and sliced lemons means you get jammy and crispy accompanying bites built right in, cooked in the rich chicken juices.
The original recipe called for 3 shallots, but we more than doubled them to 7 (noted below), all their jammy goodness paired wonderfully with the seasoned chicken, as did the lemon. As sides, we prepared a Warm Farro with Lemon and Herbs dish, and some charred broccoli.
1 lemon, sliced into ¼”-thick rounds, seeds removed
1⁄2 cup water
4 oregano or thyme sprigs, plus leaves for serving
Flaky sea salt (for serving)
Finely grind coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, paprika, and turmeric in a spice mill. Transfer spice mixture to a small bowl; whisk in garlic, yogurt, and 2 Tbsp. oil.
Generously season chicken with salt, then smear yogurt mixture all over. Let sit on a rimmed baking sheet at room temperature at least 30 minutes, or chill, uncovered, up to 12 hours. If chilling, let chicken sit at room temperature 30 minutes before roasting.
Preheat oven to 425°. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Place chicken, breast side up, in pan, then nestle shallots, cut side down, and lemon slices around. Season shallots and lemon with salt. Tuck in oregano sprigs and cook, undisturbed, until shallots are starting to brown, about 3 minutes.
Pour ½ cup water into pan; transfer skillet to oven, arranging so legs are pointing toward back of oven. Roast until skin has taken on some color, 10–15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325°; continue to roast until chicken is cooked through and tender (an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast should register 155°; it will climb to 165° as the chicken rests) and shallots are jammy, 60–70 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes.
Transfer chicken to a cutting board and carve as desired. Arrange on a platter; tuck shallots and lemon slices around. Spoon juices in pan over, top with oregano leaves, and sprinkle with sea salt.