Step 1In a wide, nonreactive saucepan combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, cumin seeds, bay leaf and allspice berries, the pepper and 1 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, 5 minutes.
Step 2Add the carrots and bring the mixture back to a simmer. Cook uncovered about 3 minutes, stirring often. The carrots will still be very crisp. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Transfer to a glass dish and cover. Chill at least a few hours, preferably overnight.
Step 3To serve, drain the carrots and arrange on a platter or in a couple of coffee mugs to be nibbled on.