What is Morabbâ-Ye Haveej? I didn’t know either before I made it for Tigress’ Can Jam. This challenge focuses on a given fruit or vegetable, and all the participants have to come up with interesting recipes. This month’s focus is: CARROTS.
My first thought was: OMG, I’m going to skip this month’s challenge. I do like carrots, but only fresh or frozen ones that I put in a meal. I just can’t stand canned or pickled carrots. So I knew it would have to be on the sweet side. But carrots in a jam? I’ve never heard of a carrot jam. And how would I know it’s acidic enough so I wouldn’t kill the people eating my jam with botulism? I consider myself an experienced canner and adventurous with recipes, but I was a little afraid of this whole botulism thing. So I asked my friend Sara if there was something in the “Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving”. There was, so I ordered it. I think it will be a good companion in the next few months.
Meanwhile, I was flipping through one of my Middle Eastern cookbooks to find a nice dinner recipe. And then I stumbled upon this recipe: Morabbâ-Ye Haveej. I read through it and immediately knew that this was what I was going to make for this month’s Can Jam. It’s a traditional Persian carrot jam with orange and cardamom. The recipe calls for rose water, which I don’t have on hand so I searched the internet where I could find it. I read that it should be possible to order it at a pharmacy, so I called our local pharmacy, and, indeed, they could order it for me. I had all the other ingredients on hand or could easily retrieve them at our grocery store.
Here’s the recipe (adapted from “The Middle Eastern Kitchen” by Ghillie Başan):
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 lb carrots, peeled and sliced
- Juice of 2 small oranges, and the peel, cut into slivers
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tblsp rose water
- Seeds of 5-6 green cardamom pods
- 1/2 cup blanched almonds, cut into slivers
I dissolved the sugar in the water and brought it to a boil, stirring all the time. Then I added the carrots and orange peel and returned to a boil. After about 10 minutes I puréed everything (I didn’t want any carrot chunks in the jam) and let it boil for some more minutes. I stirred in the rose water (the recipe calls for 2 tblsp, but the smell was soooo intense that I decided to use only 1 1/2 tblsp), orange and lemon juice, cardamom (I had no clue how much the seeds of 5-6 cardamom pods are, so I took about 1 tsp), and almond slivers, and boiled it for another 5 minutes. The jam didn’t really want to set, so I added some teaspoons of locust bean gum (also known as carob gum or carob bean gum, which can be used as a thickening agent). I was pretty sure that the orange and lemon juice already would add enough acidity to the jam, but just to be on the safe side I added 2 teaspoons of citric acid.
Before I processed the jam I checked the pH level. Yes, I DID buy some test sticks. As you can see in the picture, the pH level was 3,6 – not even close to the “border” of 4,6. I poured the jam in the sterilized, hot jars, closed the jars, put them in my electric waterbath canner and processed them for 10 minutes at 90°C.
I never would have imagined that a carrot jam could be so yummy. But yes, it really IS yummy. I would definitely make it again, but would add a little less rose water because that was kind of dominant in the jam. And the weird thing about this jam is: nobody could even tell that there were carrots in there. Probably because nobody would expect carrots to be in a jam… If you want to read about my second carrot project, follow this link.
Check out some fellow canners’ carrot posts here: