Porkkanalaatikko – try repeating it five times in a loop. Quite a tongue twister right?! I have been trying to memorize this name ever since I prepared this at home and I have never got it right so far. But don’t you worry. This name might sound difficult, but the recipe is too simple. Google translate helped me understand this name better. Porkkanalaatikko literally means Carrot Box in Finnish. Porkkana – Carrot and Laatikko – Box.
Prepared as a part of feast for Christmas, this recipe mainly contains carrots and rice. Along with milk, cream, and eggs whisked into the mixture, spices like salt, pepper and nutmeg are added too. Spread with bread crumbs on top, this casserole is baked in the oven until the top and the bottom are crispy. With the sweetness from carrots and the richness from milk combined with the flavor of nutmeg, this dish is quite unique. I had no clue how this recipe would turn out to be, as it was my very first hearing this. We don’t eat or cook meat at home and given this dish is specifically served alongside ham or steak in the traditional setup, I did not even know how to eat this *for the first time* 😀 But guess what, while I had my doubts adding egg to the mixture of carrots and rice, it was not bad at all. I don’t like the smell of eggs, especially whisked into something hot but this turned out to be okay. I already made a few changes to the base recipe I looked upon the internet and may be next time, I will skip the eggs and make a veggie version of this.
Yet again, I thank Lina from Lin’s recipes for bringing this April Challenge, for I would have never tried this dish at home otherwise. Lina is great with monthly challenges and for this month, we were supposed to pick a random number to choose our surprise recipe. Porkkanalatiko it was for me! A big shout out to Jhuls, who is judging this challenge 🙂
To make Porkkanalaatikko | Finnish Carrot Casserole
What I used –
- Carrots Grated, 1 cup
- Cooked Rice, ½ cup
- Milk, 1 cup
- Butter, 1 tsp
- Breadcrumbs, ¼ cup
- Egg, 1
- Salt, as required
- Nutmeg, ¼ tsp
- Brown Sugar, 1 teaspoon (Optional. I didn’t use any)
- White Pepper Powder, ½ teaspoon (Optional. I didn’t use any)
How I made –
1. In a pan, heat butter. Add finely grated carrots and stir fry on low flame until the raw smell is gone. Add one cup of milk and keep cooking the carrots until fully cooked.
2. Add cooked rice to the carrot mixture and add salt required. If adding sugar, add it at this stage. When everything comes together, add the nutmeg powder along with white pepper powder. Mix well. Let this mixture cool down a bit.
3. Meanwhile preheat the oven at 180°C for 5-7mins. Add whisked egg to the carrot rice mixture and mix it well. Set this mixture in an oven safe dish (coated with butter - optional) and top it evenly with bread crumbs. For crispier crumbs on top, add small dollops of butter all over the top.
4. Bake this in the oven at 180°C for 15-20 mins until the top is crisp and golden. Remove the dish from the oven and let it cool down before cutting into pieces. Serve hot.
- The carrots can be cooked in water until well cooked and pureed before rice is added. As I grated them fine, I left them as it is for the texture.
- I used normal short grain rice, cooked until mushy in pressure cooker.
- Additional to the milk, cream can be used/replaced for a creamier version of this.
- As carrots are already sweet, I skipped adding sugar.
- If bread crumbs are not available, powdered crackers can be used.
- I made a pattern using a spoon after spreading the bread crumbs.
- It is best served hot as eggs are used in the making and the dish can turn cakey/soggy on cooling down.