On Rosh Hashanah, it is customary to eat foods whose names in the vernacular allude to blessing and prosperity. For example, the Yiddish word for carrot, meren, also means “increase,” symbolizing our wish for a year of abundance.

Here’s an alternative to tzimmes that hits the carrot brief without the overwhelming sweetness. (I do also have a less sweet tzimmes recipe for you if you prefer.) And your house will smell amazing while they’re cooking!


  • 1.5 lb (680 grams) large carrots
  • ½ tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • Optional: fresh parsley for garnish
  • Optional: Squeeze of lemon or lime


  1. Wash and peel carrots. Cut into rounds. For larger pieces, cut diagonal rounds. Try to keep the thickness even throughout the pieces—this will help them cook more evenly. Place in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the spices together. (Optional: If you prefer a sweeter taste, add a tablespoon of brown sugar to the spice mix.)
  3. Add the spice mixture a little at a time, tossing as you go, until the carrots are evenly coated. If you prefer lighter seasoning, you don’t have to use all the spice mix.
  4. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread carrots out in a single layer. Drizzle with 1-2 tbsp oil or a light coating of spray-oil.
  5. Bake at 425°F (220°C) for 25 minutes.
  6. Taste and sprinkle with additional salt if needed. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime (optional).
  7. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with fresh parsley.

Serves: 4-6 as a side dish