Carrot and Coconut Bars / Cezerye Recipe is from Eastern Turkish City of Mersin. Originally it is probably an Arabic dessert as the word “cezerye” means carrot in Arabic. This recipe has another version where you add biscuits into it. However this recipe is the original one as prepared in Mersin. As there is no biscuits it is healthier and with less calories. Both methods will give you loads of energy.
The basic ingredient is carrot. Peel and cut to pieces the carrots and boil until easily mashable.
You have to cook it until mashed and then add spices and starch until all the carrot water evaporates and becomes sticky. In order to test its readiness take a small amount between your fingers and when you separate your fingers if the carrot mixture stays on only one of your fingers and not both it is a sign you can stop mixing.There are many spices involved. Try to put these as much as possible, but if you miss a few, it is not the end of the world.
Then while still warm mix with coarsely chopped walnuts. You can replace wallnuts with nuts or pistacchio. It is not too easy to spread it down. The best way is to put small chuncks all around coconut flakes. Then flatten these chuncks evenly with a knife. Do not use your hands as the paste is quite sticky. Then cover with cocount flakes again.
Cezerye is even better the next day, so you can prepare it before hand and keep it in the fridge.
Cut with a wet knife. Allways keep in the fridge. Enjoy.
Wash and then peel the carrots. Cut to 5-6 random sized pieces to cook faster.
Add about 150 ml water and cook in a preassure cooker or 250 ml water in a normal pot and cook until easily masheable. When ready drain the remaining water if any.
Use a hand blender to mash the carrots. If there are still particles left, you might need to get rid of them using a thin wire colander. Just place a colander on another pot and pour all the carrots into the colander. Then gently mix until the carrots fall down to the new pot.
Again put the pot on the stove and begin cooking the carrot pure over medium heat.
Continuously mix, so the carrots don't stick on the pot and get brownish.
Meanwhile add the sugar, honey and all the spices. You need to continue until all the water of the carrots evaporate. It can take up to 30 minutes.
Mix the starch in a small bowl with 1-2 table spoons of water and make it dissolve. Add a few spoons of carrot paste and mix in the small bowl. And then add the starchy water to the main pot while continuing to mix.
When the carrot water is completely gone slowly add the starchy water while continuing to mix.
Continue to mix until the mixture becomes sticky and thick. You should start having a hard time mixing it.
Add coarsley grounded walnuts and mix well.
In a tray spinkle generously half of the coconut flakes. Then spread the carrot paste evenly. Spread the carrot mixture so that it is straight in the sides and it is not too thick.
On top sprinkle the remaining coconut flakes. Put in the refrigrator to cool.
Serve cold. If you prepare the previous day and keep in the refrigirator it will be more delicious. Enjoy.