Peel the carrots, onions, garlic and ginger and finely slice them and the chilli. Heat the oil almost to smoking and add the chilli, garlic, ginger, cumin and fennel. Fry on a fairly high heat, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Next add the onions and fry for a further 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the carrots and turmeric and turn down the heat. Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the coconut milk and water and bring to the boil. Turn down and simmer for about 15 minutes until the carrots are soft. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before blending to a fine purée in a liquidiser. Test for seasoning and add salt and cracked black pepper.
Reheat just before serving and stir finely shredded coriander or tarragon leaves through it as it goes to the table.
© 1997 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.