The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

cumin dusted carrot tempura with coriander and lemon aioli

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This recipe for cumin dusted carrot tempura with coriander and lemon aioli is the latest in a monthly series of recipes I have created in partnership with Suma. Each of these recipes is inspired by products from Suma’s extensive range of organic and ethically sourced products, and the recipes appear both here on my blog and on the Suma website.

This year I used lengths of drainpipe to grow my carrots. This was partly to save space in my vegetable garden and partly to thwart the low flying carrot fly. The resulting carrots have also been long, straight and plump.

Carrot pairs really well with both cumin and dill, so here all three have been brought together in an extremely tasty dish, which is both vegan and gluten-free.

cumin dusted carrot tempura with coriander and lemon aioli


300 g carrots, peeled or scrubbed and cut into thin julienne strips
1 tsp ground cumin
groundnut or sunflower oil, for deep frying

for the tempura batter
60 g cornflour
60 g rice flour
pinch baking powder
pinch sea salt
150 ml sparkling water

for the aioli
80 g silken tofu
80 ml extra virgin olive oil
juice and zest of half a lemon
10 g fresh dill, finely chopped
1 spring onion, finely chopped
½ tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp sea salt


1. Place the carrot strips on kitchen paper to absorb excess moisture. For the aioli, place the tofu, lemon juice, mustard and sea salt into a food processor and blend until smooth. Keep the processor running on a slow speed and very slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream until it forms a thick sauce. Tip the aioli into a bowl. Add the lemon zest, chopped spring onion and chopped coriander and mix to combine. Set to one side.

2. Next, make the tempura batter by whisking together the cornflour, rice flour, baking powder, salt and sparkling water until you have a thin batter.

3. Pour groundnut or sunflower oil into a wok or deep-sided pan to a depth of 5cm. Place over a high heat. Dredge the carrot strips through the tempura batter, ensuring they are completely coated. As soon as the oil is hot, carefully drop the battered carrot sticks into the oil and cook for 2-3 minutes, turning to cook on all sides, until the batter is a light golden colour and crisp. You will need to do this in batches to avoid crowding the pan, which would cause the oil temperature to drop too suddenly. Remove the cooked tempura from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain briefly on kitchen paper. Place in a bowl, add the ground cumin and toss lightly to distribute the cumin evenly. Serve while still hot, accompanied by the lemon and dill aioli.

Categories: vegetarian


8 replies

  1. Oh yum! We’re big fans of carrots. Great to have a new recipe.

  2. A simple but inspired recipe for preparing carrots . . . very much like the use of the groundnut oil and find the aioli recipe different to any I have prepared. Do but minimal frying these days but, correctly prepared, very little oil should be absorbed . . . because of accessibility I would probably try this with rice bran oil . . . thanks !

  3. Never heard of growing carrots in drainpipes. Would work for parsnips too I should think.

    • Hi Kristina. Yes, it’s a method that worked well for me, and would certainly work for parsnips too. Steve 🙂

  4. Such great flavours. I also so intrigued by that tofu aioli recipe! Sounds delicious!

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