Fermented Carrots with Garam Masala Spice

These easy fermented carrots can be made with or without the spices. Once fermented, they last for months and can be used to stir into potato salad, soups, or served alongside your lunchtime sandwich. 

New to fermenting foods? Be sure to read this compilation of frequently asked questions before you get started!


Originally published April 2020; this post has been updated.

white scalloped bowl full of orange carrot shreds.

We have a couple of favorite things to ferment around here. It seems like there’s always a jar of sauerkraut on the countertop. But fermented carrots are new for me.

Fermented carrots sticks are one way to do it. Instead, I like to ferment carrots in shredded form. It makes it really easy to add carrots to recipes with zero chopping. Just scoop out what you need and stir it into recipes.

Note: adding the carrots to a cooked recipe will kill the probiotics, but it still scores high on the easy chart!

Fermented Carrots 

For fun, I decided to add garam masala spice to the shredded carrots. If you like the flavor of garam masala, you’ll love these! I’ve been using these flavorful carrots to rev up recipes.

I added some to a coleslaw recipe for guests and everyone loved it. My son stirs them into hot broth, making kind of an instant soup. And of course, you can add a spoonful to your dinner salad.

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Carrots Any type of fresh carrot will work. If you’re growing them, great! If not grocery store carrots are just fine. You can use all orange carrots or use rainbow colored carrots. 

Salt Use sea salt, NOT table salt. Table salt often has anti-caking agents that can interfere with the fermentation. You could also use Himalayan salt; just avoid salts with added ingredients.

Garam Masala This spice is an optional ingredient but one that adds a unique and delicious flavor to these fermented carrots. You can add different dry spices if you like. 

shredded carrots in a food processor.

How to Ferment Shredded Carrots

Whether you grow your own carrots (I used a combination of rainbow carrots, as you can see) or pick them up from the farmers market, you’ll start by washing and then shredding the carrots.

There’s no need to peel them, but you can if that’s your preference.

garam masala spice in a measuring spoon.

You’ll mix the carrots with salt and garam masala (though the spices are optional) then pack them into a jar until they are covered in their own juices.

red canning funnel in a canning jar, partially filled with shredded carrots.

It’s a simple thing, but it’s essential that the food you’re fermenting remain completely submerged under the brine. This prevents the food from developing mold.

glass weights holding down shredded carrots.

Municipal tap water contains chlorine, which can inhibit fermentation, so be sure to use filtered water or distilled water instead. A Berkey water filter provides clean water that’s free of toxins. Great for making your drinking water free of chemicals, but perfect for fermentation, too.


Allowing the carrots to sit at room temperature creates lactic acid and the probiotics that make fermented foods so good for us. As they sit, you’ll see the liquid begin to bubble.

bubbling fermented carrots.

Depending on the temperature, it will take a week or so for a finished product. The only thing you need to do during the fermenting process, though, is burp the jar. That means you’ll unscrew the lid to allow the gasses to release.

When the fermented carrots have taken on a nice tang, put the jar in the refrigerator and use them as desired.

Have lots of carrots to preserve? Here’s how I freeze carrots.

white scalloped bowl full of orange carrot shreds, from above.

More Fermented Vegetable Recipes

If you loved this recipe (and the idea of adding more probiotics to your diet!) there’s so much more exploring to do! 

These spicy fermented snap peas are a delicious addition to a salad, chop them in small bits and add to your deviled eggs, or serve them alongside a cold beer.

Try fermenting cauliflower to serve with your favorite sandwich.

Turn up the heat with a fermented hot pepper relish or a banana pepper hot sauce

★ Did you make these fermented carrots? Don’t forget to give them a star rating below! ★

white scalloped bowl full of orange carrot shreds.

Lacto-Fermented Carrots

These shredded carrots are flavored with Garam Masala spices, making them great for adding a little extra pop of flavor to your favorite recipes.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Fermenting time (hands off): 5 days
Total Time: 5 days 15 minutes
Servings: 1 pint
Author: Kris Bordessa


  • 4 cups carrots shredded
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 - 3 teaspoons garam masala optional


  • Shred carrots by hand or with a food processor.
    4 cups carrots
  • Combine shredded carrots, salt, and garam masala in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Use your hands to massage the carrots a bit, to help release the juices.
    1 tablespoon sea salt, 1 - 3 teaspoons garam masala
  • Transfer mixture to a quart-sized jar. Use the end of a dowel or wooden spoon to mash the carrots into the jar, pushing them down until they’re covered by juices. It will not look like you have much juice. When you smash the carrots down into the jar, you’ll be surprised.
  • Place one or two glass weights on top of the carrots. If they are not entirely covered by juices, top them off with a bit of filtered water. It’s essential that the carrots are completely submerged.
  • If you have a fermenting lid, use that to cover the jar. If not, you have two options. Cover the jar with a tightly woven piece of cloth and a rubber band (cheesecloth is not a good option here), or screw on a regular jar lid. If you opt for the jar lid, you'll need to loosen it daily to release any gasses that build up.

Fermenting the carrots

  • Let sit at room temperature for a several days or a week, until the carrots take on a tangy fragrance, then refrigerate.


  • Use less garam masala if you plan to eat these fermented carrots straight from the jar. If you'd like to have these on hand for adding to salads and other recipes, use the larger amount.
  • This recipe does not require that you use mason jars. Any recycled jar will do.
  • Successful ferments should smell pleasantly tangy. If there is an off odor, discard. You can use pH paper to test the acidity of the mix to be sure it's acidic enough for long-term storage. This recipe should test at 4.6 or lower.


Serving: 2tablespoons | Calories: 14kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.004g | Sodium: 458mg | Potassium: 102mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 5346IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @attainablesustainable or tag #attainablesustainable!
fermented carrots in a white bowl

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About the author: Kris Bordessa is an award-winning National Geographic author and a certified Master Food Preserver. Read more about Kris and how she got started with this site here. If you want to send Kris a quick message, you can get in touch here.

6 comments… add one
  • Bob Tackett Dec 28, 2021 @ 0:52

    Doesn’t fermenting create alcohol in the food? I don’t want to feed these to my kids if they have alcohol in them, of course.. Any idea which probiotic strains this creates, or how to find out?

    • AttainableSustainable Jan 4, 2022 @ 9:14

      Fermented foods do have trace amounts of alcohol. Only you can decide if you are comfortable feeding it to your kids, but I did feed them to mine. 🙂

  • Kim Jul 18, 2020 @ 20:59

    Would this work using whole, store-bought organic baby carrots? What other spices would work in place of the masala?

    • Kris Bordessa Jul 19, 2020 @ 8:07

      You’d be better to use a brine with large items like this. Spices can be whatever you like!

  • Matthew Krysinski Jun 28, 2020 @ 13:51

    Would it be ok to add red onion and jalapeño pepper to this, or would that break something?

    • Kris Bordessa Jul 1, 2020 @ 8:21

      It’s really hard to break anything with fermenting! If you want to add these flavors, just measure them with the carrots so that your vegetable to salt ratio remains the same.

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