Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Spicy Vegetable Cous Cous

Cous Cous is a popular grain used in Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Libya. Its also very popular in the Mediterranean and Europe. It is basically semolina (durum wheat) and is used in a variety of savoury and sweet dishes. It is very easily available these days in supermarkets, and come in the easy to prepare packs. Its a really good quick meal idea. I have used Middle Eastern flavours to enhance the cous cous and added a variety of vegetables to it. You can choose to add some dried apricots, raisins, cranberries to add a sweet flavour to it as well.


Serves 4


1.5 cups Cous Cous

1.5 cups boiling water

1 Red Capsicum - sliced

1 Yellow Capsicum - sliced

300 g can of Chickpeas

small bunch  Baby Asparagus - ends trimmed

handful of Beans - cut into 4 cm pieces

1 Sweet Potato - cubed

1 Onion - finely diced

4-5 clovesGarlic - crushed

4 Red Chilli - finely chopped

1 cup Parsley 

1 cup Mint

1/2 cup Pistachios

1 tsp Pepper

3 tsp Sumac

31/2 tsp Cumin powder

11/2 tsp Turmeric powder

4 tsp Paprika

Juice of 1 lemon

3-4 tbsp Olive oil

Salt to taste


Preheat the oven to 180C. Roast the sweet potato cubes with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and roast for 20 minutes or till tender.

Heat 2 tbs of olive oil in a pan. Add the onion and sweat it, followed by the red chilli and crushed garlic.  Add the capsicum and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the beans and asparagus and let it cook through. Add the spices- sumac, cumin, turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper. Let the vegetables and the spices cook and the flavours get complex.This is the flavour base for the cous cous, so it should pack a punch. Drain the can of chick peas and add them to the pan. The vegetable mix is ready.

In a large bowl add the cous cous and add the boiling water. Cover with a lid and let it stand. Once all the water is absorbed add a drizzle of olive oil to add flavour and lubrication. Take a fork and fluff the cous cous, dont use a spoon as it will get gluggy.

Add the spicy vegetable mix to the cous cous. Add the sweet potato and half the herbs leave some for garnish) Add the lemon juice and mix it thoroughly using your hands. Garnish with toasted pistachios and parsley and mint leaves.

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