Before my friends NEW YORK SHUK gave me a bottle of their new spice Hawaij, I had never heard of this little known Yemeni spice before. Pronouncing it requires some practice too - try this "huh-why-adge"... Unusual name and ambiguous identity aside, this vibrant, golden-hued spice has the POWER! It's flavour is heavy-hitting - featuring turmeric, cumin, black peppercorns, and cardamom. These bold flavours are perfect for roasting vegetables, particularly root vegetables, and also a great way to build a robust flavour profile in soups, stews or salads..
There are actually two types of Hawaij. As I learnt from my friend Molly, there is hawaij that is used for soups, stews, marinades etc (like NY Shuk's) and then there is another hawaij spice which is a coffee blend. The coffee blend typically includes ginger and cardamom, along with any combination of the following: cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, maybe anise or fennel.
If you can't get your hands on store-bought hawaij, I recommend substituting with a simple homemade combo of ground turmeric, ground cumin, freshly ground peppercorns and cardamom - grind everything with a mortar and pestle.
Hawaij roasted carrots with mung beans and preserved lemon yoghurt
I use preserved lemon in the yoghurt, but if you can also substitute with fresh lemon zest and a few squeezes of lemon juice.
500g (1 pound) small carrots, tops trimmed and scrubbed
1 tsp chopped preserved lemon (or juice of ½ lemon)
handful of coriander, finely chopped
¾ cup mung beans, rinsed
handful toasted almonds, toasted
handful mint and coriander leaves
1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges (to serve)
sea salt and black pepper
Hawaij yoghurt marinade
2 tbsp hawaij
1 clove, finely grated
½ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 220˚C/425°F.
Mix hawaij, garlic, yogurt, and a big drizzle of olive oil (2-3 tablespoons) in a large bowl until smooth; season with salt. Add half of the yoghurt mixture to the carrots and toss to coat. Reserve the rest of the yoghurt for serving.
Place the carrots in a single layer on a large baking try. Roast for 25-30 minutes, turning once or twice, until the carrots are tender and charred in spots.
Meanwhile, place the mung beans in a medium saucepan and cover with 5cm (2 inches) of water. Season the water with 2 big pinches of salt. Place on medium-high heat and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 25-30 minutes until tender. Drain.
Add the preserved lemon to the remaining yoghurt and mix to combine.
Combine the mung beans with the carrots and toss to combine. Season with sea salt and black pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Drizzle with preserved lemon yogurt and scatter over the almonds, mint and coriander. Serve with lemon wedges.