Libyan Steamed Carrot Salad (Salatet Sfinari bil Kamoun)

This is an easy and quick(ish) salad that works great as a side dish for your favorite Libyan meal and stuff like kabobs. It’s basically just softened carrots with a few herbs, and a chili pepper to give it a kick. And it can be made ahead of time, yet not so intrusive to interfere with whatever else you’re making.


Serves 4-6 people, but can easily be expanded for a party.
Cooking time: 30 minutes + resting in the fridge

Bowl of steamed carrots with herbs and spices

Shopping List:

  • 2-3 carrots, depending on size
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 bunch flat parsley
  • 1-2 tbsp Garlic
  • Chili pepper (to heat preference)
    (I usually use an anaheim or pasilla)
  • Lemon
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • Olive oil

Begin by washing the carrots, and slicing them into 1/8″ thick (or less) rounds. When the carrots get over around 1/2″ thick, halve them long ways and continue slicing the halves.  Then start steaming them ~ you can use one of those collapsible flower thingies (which we do) ~ just make sure you cover it with a pot lid so they steam better. Check on them and stir regularly, and when they’re soft remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, mince up around 1/2 a bunch of both flat parsley and cilantro.  Separately mince up the chile as well as several cloves of garlic.

Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the carrots, and add in the cumin, garlic, and chili. Now comes the tricky part: stir in the cilantro and parsley until there’s “enough”. How much depends on how many carrots, but the total amount is for around 3 regular-sized carrots. It should look a lot like the photo above.

Add a few tablespoons of olive oil, stir in, and let sit in the fridge for an hour or so. Top off with a splash more olive oil right before serving.