What is tandoori?
Tandoori can refer to both a method of cooking (in a tandoor, or a large clay pot), as well as a flavor profile. In this recipe, I use a tandoori spice blend — comprised of paprika, cumin, coriander, garlic, ginger, and cardamom — to flavor oven roasted carrots.
Is it spicy?
Tandoori is not spicy, but rather has a lot of warm notes. However, when it is mixed with yogurt (as it is here), I find it to be extremely mild. It’s full of flavor, but not spicy.
- Greek yogurt
- Tandoori spice blend (homemade or store-bought)
- 1 lb carrots (can use rainbow carrots for sure!)
- fresh lemon juice
- chives or cilantro
- pistachios or other nuts
- extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- flaky sea salt, for serving
How to roast carrots
I typically roast vegetables simply with olive oil, kosher salt, and ground black pepper. The difference here is that I coat the carrots in a yogurt and spice marinade first. The carrots can be roasted right away, but there’s no harm in letting them marinate for a few hours beforehand if you’ve got the time.
How long to roast
I roast these carrots for 20-25 minutes at 400F, rotating the pan once about halfway through cooking.
Can these be made ahead?
Absolutely! I love a good side dish that can be made ahead and served room temperature! What I’ll often do is make the herbed yogurt ahead of time (morning of or even 1 day before), then keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Everyone prefers yogurt to be cold.
The carrots, however, can be marinated hours ahead of time and then either roasted fresh to order or cooked ahead of time and simply reheated right before serving.
Simply assemble when ready to eat: yogurt sauce on a plate + tandoori oven roasted carrots + garnish of chopped pistachios or other nuts and chives. Easy!
Can you roast frozen vegetables?
This is always a tricky one. The answer is yes, ultimately you can, but I never do. Roasted vegetables tend to hold more water in them, and so when you ‘roast’ them, they end up steaming in the oven instead. Fresh vegetables will always, always taste better than frozen vegetables when it comes to roasting.
I don’t have pistachios, can I use something else?
Absolutely! I love the combination of tandoori spice blend and yogurt with pistachios, but use whatever you’ve got on hand! Slivered almonds, crushed walnut pieces, chopped peanuts — the point is to add something crunchy. The carrots become soft while roasting, and the yogurt is incredibly creamy; the crunch is necessary, in whatever form you can get it!
On the same note, feel free to substitute sour cream for yogurt! You may want to add a touch of lemon juice to brighten it up a bit, but otherwise, it’s always a great substitution.
What to serve with oven roasted carrots
You could keep the flavor profile of the meal Indian, but I love to serve these with crispy chicken thighs. My go-to recipe is this Cracklin’ Chicken by Nom Nom Paleo.
If you want to give these more of a Moroccan flare, highly recommend topping them with our zesty chermoula!
If you make Tandoori Oven Roasted Carrots, please let me know by leaving a review below!
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For other show stopping side dishes, check out the following:
Whole30 roasted butternut squash with za’atar
Perfect roasted broccolini
Sicilian cauliflower with golden raisins and pine nuts
Summer grilled potato salad with fresh burrata
Roasted golden beets with horseradish and walnuts
This was originally posted in December 2017 and has since been updated with tips and tricks that will make it easier for you to recreate at home.
- ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt divided
- 2 teaspoons Tandoori spice blend store-bought or homemade
- 5 tablespoons olive oil divided
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound carrots peeled
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp fresh chives or cilantro chopped, plus more for garnish
- 2 Tbsp pistachios chopped
- 1 Tbsp high quality finishing oil
- Sea salt optional
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix ¼ cup yogurt, tandoori spice blend, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp black pepper in a small mixing bowl. Place carrots on a rimmed baking sheet, then pour yogurt mixture on top. Toss to combine; make sure carrots are in a single layer. Roast for 20-25 minutes, turning once halfway through, until carrots are tender.
- In another small bowl, combine remaining ½ cup of yogurt, lemon juice, and chives or cilantro. Season with ¼ tsp kosher salt, then whisk to combine.
- Spread herb yogurt on a serving platter or plate, then place roasted carrots on top. Garnish with pistachios and additional fresh herbs. Drizzle with high quality finishing oil (if using) and a light sprinkle of flaky sea salt (about ⅛ tsp). Serve immediately or at room temperature.
I use this Tandoori spice mix by Frontier, which I love. You can also pick this up locally at Whole Foods.