Zrodiya Mcharmla

(Algerian-Style Carrots)

April 4: International Carrot Day

Around Eastertime, we always wonder what to make for dinner, especially since we are not traditionalists who eat ham or lamb. We remember as children Highlander’s family would eat roast beef and Islander’s family would order Chinese takeout for Easter! Sure, our families would cook the occasional ham dinner. But in our married life, it was not one we really cooked for ourselves. Sometimes when we get invited to friends’ homes for Easter, ham is what they would serve, and we would graciously eat it.

But carrots frequently find their way on our Easter menu when we do cook at home. Somehow this orange veggie seems right with all the Easter bunnies and their stereotypical food. The recipe we decided to try is from an Algerian friend, Raida S., who served zrodiya mcharmla (also known as carottes au vinaigre) as a side dish when we visited her and her husband, Sido, our university dormmate, and their twin daughters in Dubai, UAE. We ate al fresco in their back patio on that one mild spring evening in March. We asked for the simple recipe and made it at home when we came back from our Middle Eastern trip.

International Carrot Day falls around the Easter season. Algerian-style carrots would make a great dish for carrot day as well.

(From Raida S.)


  • 1 pound bag of baby carrots
  • Water
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Put the carrots in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to medium. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Drain the water in a colander and place the carrots in a bowl.

In a measuring cup or small bowl, mix the olive oil with vinegar, minced garlic, ground cumin, caraway seeds and Italian parsley. Pour this dressing over the cooked carrots. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. May serve hot or cold.


  • Large instead of baby carrots may be used. Wash and peel around 3 large carrots. Slice them diagonally in 1/8 inch thickness. Prepare in the same method as baby carrots.
  • Some baby carrots may be steamed in the bag, depending on the brand, making for a quicker preparation.
  • The juice of half a lemon may be used in place of the vinegar.