Cardamom Carrot Marmalade

Last fall I went to Kabul as part of a volunteer project. “I can’t wait for you to eat there!” said my friend Shannon who was organizing the initiative. I know what you’re thinking: nobody goes to Afghanistan for the food. This is true, but somewhere in between security checks and guards with AK 47s there was a whole lot of food culture to experience.

In the guest house that we were staying in, there was a full spread of boiled eggs, naan and jam for breakfast. Jam isn’t something I usually eat at breakfast time – or bread for that matter – but then again, I was in a conflict zone… if that isn’t reason to eat whatever you want, I don’t know what is. Which is how I happened upon carrot jam. It wasn’t an Afghan specialty – I think it had been imported from Saudi Arabia or somewhere else in the region – but it was good.

“I bet you could add cardamom to this and it would be really good,” I said to Shannon. (I will fully admit to having a severe cardamom problem… blame it on the Scandinavian heritage).

Thanks to a ridiculously large purchase of CSA carrots that a friend made, last week I got the chance to play around with making carrot marmalade. The result was… well… amazing.¬†Although¬†it has citrus in it, this marmalade doesn’t have the bitter aftertaste that some marmalades do, and the cardamom gives it almost a savory taste, which means it’s perfect on a piece of gluten free bread and paired with a breakfast of fried egg and kale.

Cardamom Carrot Marmalade


2 cups grated carrots (about 6 medium sized carrots)

2 cups water

2 cups organic cane sugar

Zest + juice of 1 Meyer lemon

Zest + juice of one orange

3 teaspoons green cardamom pods

1 teaspoon cardamom seeds, ground (I take whole cardamom seeds and grind them in a coffee grinder – you get larger bits of cardamom by doing this, which makes this recipe extra good)


In a saucepan, combine the water, cardamom pods and juice + zest of the orange and lemon. Bring water to a boil and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and take out the cardamom pods with a spoon.

Add in carrots, sugar and ground cardamom and simmer for about 30 minutes, constantly stirring.

Pour into a clean jar. Store in the refrigerator.

If the marmalade is too hard once it has set, just put it back in a saucepan with 1/4 to 1/2 cup water, warming until the marmalade loosens, then simmer until you get the consistency you want.

Comments 3

  1. Anita

    Thanks for this recipe. Just what I was looking for !
    But what about the cardamom seeds ?

    • Anna Brones

      Hey Anita-

      Once you have sieved out the green cardamom pods (or removed with a spoon), you can add in the ground cardamom.


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