In a mini food processor or a blender, combine the garlic, oregano, cumin seeds, coriander, and pepper flakes. Add the vinegar and grind to a paste. In a thin stream, drizzle in the olive oil and blend until the mixture is emulsified. Set aside while you cook the carrots. In a medium heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add the water, sugar (if desired), salt, and pepper and cover the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, for about 5 more minutes, or until the carrots are just tender but not mushy. Add a little more water to the pan if necessary. Transfer the carrots to a serving bowl with a slotted spoon and immediately add the herb dressing. Toss together and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Leave the carrots to marinate for 2 to 3 hours, and when ready to serve, stir in the parsley. Serve at room temperature, on tiny plates or ramekins.
c.1997, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved