I can tell you today how exciting this Moroccan salad is, how easy it is to make, how you just add herbs and these boring carrots change into this incredibly tasting salad which is a feast for your taste buds or how the vibrant colors want you to dig in immediately.

But I won’t, because what I really want to tell you is that I received my admission letter in the mail yesterday, which stated that I’m enrolled in the Master of Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages at Renmin University in Beijing from September 2012-July 2014. Hopefully I’ll be able to get around the Great Firewall of China and continue blogging, but I probably won’t have a kitchen in the first few weeks, so the pictures and stories will be more Beijing and life oriented – with of course, a lot of pictures of the amazing food available in Beijing.

Anyway, in five weeks I’ll be in Beijing studying my ass of – so there’s still a lot of cooking that needs to be done before I leave.

Recipe from Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi.

1 kg carrots
80 ml olive oil, plus extra for finishing
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp caster sugar
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 medium green chillies, finely chopped – I’ve used red ones
1 spring onion, finely chopped
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp chopped preserved lemon skin
40 g chopped fresh coriander, plus extra to garnish
120 ml Greek yoghurt, optional

Peel the carrots and cut them, depending on their size, into cylinders or semi circles 1cm thick; all pieces should end up roughly the same size. Place in a large saucepan and cover with salted water. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until tender but still crunchy. Drain in a colander and leave to dry out.

Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the onion for 12 minutes on a medium heat until soft and slightly brown. Add the cooked carrots to the onions, followed by all the remaining ingredients, apart from the fresh coriander and yoghurt. Remove from the heat. Season liberally with salt, stir well and leave to cool.

Before serving, stir in the coriander, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Optional: serve with a few dollops of yoghurt.

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