Not only was their service especially warm and welcoming, their food (authentic Greek and Middle Eastern cuisine, oftentimes with a twist) didn’t leave anything to wish for, we sampled some cold cuts, a fantastic egg dish with pastirma and sudjuk, an unusual Greek salad with spiny chicory and then some.
And then there was dessert. A Greek yogurt topped with candied carrots, that tasted unlike anything I have had before.
Greek Yogurt with Candied Carrots
Let me assure you, cooking and baking hasn’t really slowed down in our kitchen, quite the contrary. I managed to visit several of my absolute favourite cities within the last year, all of them known for a vast variety of tempting food. Vienna, where I – again – accomplished to eat Wiener Schnitzel on a daily basis. Singapore, where we’re still working on the utopian quest of eating at all of the more than 100 hawker centres. And San Francisco, where we had the dreadful experience of buying cruffins while the bake shop gets robbed. Of course, and very much expectedly so, I never returned home without a bag of new recipe ideas, you might see some of them pop up in future blog posts…
Our latest trip to Athens is responsible for an instant breakfast favourite in our home, and a quick one, too! One of our favourite place in the Monastiraki / Omonoia area was Karamanlidika. Not only was their service especially warm and welcoming, their food (authentic Greek and Middle Eastern cuisine, oftentimes with a twist) didn’t leave anything to wish for, we sampled some cold cuts, a fantastic egg dish with pastirma and sudjuk, an unusual Greek salad with spiny chicory and then some.
And then there was dessert. A Greek yogurt topped with candied carrots, that tasted unlike anything I have had before. After we finished the plate, I asked the guys behind the counter, if the carrots were candied in sugar syrup and if there was any trick to it. Yes on both accounts! The secret sauce, well, herb, is called xyz… he didn’t know how to translate it, so he handed me a handwritten note with its Greek name. Later-on our Greek friends gave us the translation (apple geranium) and I tried my luck at the nearby Elixir spice shop, to no avail. They told me, it’s not available in dried form. (before I continue my hunt for some fresh apple geranium, has anybody used this in cooking or baking?)
Anyways, when we returned home, I couldn’t wait to recreate that yogurt dish. My stand-in spice of choice was (half of) a cinnamon stick and I could not have been happier with my substitution! The candied carrots keep well in the fridge for a couple of days and make for a perfect, chilled breakfast snack during these sweltering summer days we currently have!
- Wash your carrot (peel only if necessary) and grate them rather coarsely. My three carrots weighed almost exactly 200 g after grating.
- In a small pot combine water, sugar and half a cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Add the grated carrots and let cook for about 1 minute, before removing from the heat. Close with a lid and let cool down completely – this will take a couple of hours.
- Once cooled down, strain the grated carrots through a fine mash sieve – I won’t press down on the carrots, because I want them to hold some syrup (and do keep the lightly favoured sugar syrup for another use, like sweetening fruit salads etc.). Fill the candied carrots into an airtight container and chill in the fridge.
- Serve over your favourite Greek yogurt topped with a generously heaped tablespoon of the candied carrots. The carrots keep well in the fridge for a couple of days.
Greek Yogurt with Candied Carrots
Recipe source: own creation, inspired by Karamanlidika, Athens
Active: ~15 min., all-together: a couple of hours
- 3 carrots (grated 200 g )
- 300 g white sugar
- 300 ml water
- 1/2 cinnamon stick (Ceylon cinnamon)
- serve with Greek yogurt
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