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Roasted Carrots, Chickpeas and Onions with Awaze Sauce

Kara Birnbaum/TODAY

Chef notes

Awaze is a versatile sauce hailing from Ethiopia where it's used on just about everything. You can use it as a finishing sauce, as I do here, or brush it on just about any protein (fish, poultry, tofu or tempeh) before grilling, sautéing or roasting. In Ethiopia, they use local honey wine to make this sauce, but here we can use a combo of red wine and honey to replicate its sweet but tannic flavor.

Swap option: This dish is perfect and simple as is, but feel free to scatter some fresh herbs (especially cilantro) or toasted nuts, such as almonds, over top.


Carrots and Onions
  • 1 pound medium carrots, peeled, ends trimmed
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon berbere spice blend (store-bought — or use the recipe below to make it!)
  • Kosher salt
Awaze Sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 5 tablespoons berbere spice blend (store-bought — or use the recipe below to make it!)
  • Kosher salt
Berbere Spice Blend (makes about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup ground New Mexico chile
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


For the carrots and onions:


Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack.


To cut the carrots, hold a carrot at a 45-degree angle to your cutting board and slice a 1-inch chunk off, rotate the carrot a quarter turn and slice off another chunk. Continue to the end of the carrot and cut all of the carrots this way (this is a "roll cut"; it's a good technique for cutting long vegetables to give them lots of surface area for browning).


Toss the carrots in a large bowl with the chickpeas, red onions, olive oil, berbere spice blend and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Spread on the preheated baking sheet and roast until tender and nicely caramelized, about 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through.

For the awaze sauce:

In a small bowl, stir together the red wine and honey. Stir in the berbere spice blend and 1 teaspoon salt. The sauce should be thick but still able to drizzle. (This makes more awaze than you'll need for the recipe, but it keeps for at least a week in the fridge.)

For the berbere spice blend:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine well.

To serve:

Mound the carrots and onions on a serving platter and drizzle with a few tablespoons of awaze sauce. Serve warm.