Moroccan vegetable couscous (without a couscoussier!)recipe…

Moroccan vegetable couscous (without a couscoussier!)

recipe under the cut

serves about 10

INGREDIENTS:

for the vegetables:

  • 1 onion
  • 2 potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • 2 turnips
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 zucchini
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • ½ of a small cabbage
  • 1 cup of dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, or 1 can of chickpeas
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4-5 tbsp ras el hanout spice blend
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon or 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 1 large pinch saffron
  • salt to taste (about 1 tbsp)
  • ¼ cup parsley
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1-2 red chili peppers

this is a good baseline but feel free to add in or substitute whatever vegetables you like or have on hand! other vegetables you can try include pumpkin and eggplant.

for the couscous:

  • 3 cups dry Moroccan couscous
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp smen (Moroccan clarified butter), butter, or vegan margarine (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

for the vegetables:

1. prepare the vegetables: chop the onion, peel the potatoes and turnips and cut them into large cubes; peel the carrots and cut them into large chunks (horizontally in pieces of about 3 inches and then in half lengthwise); wash the zucchini and cut it in the same way; peel the tomatoes (placing them in a covered bowl for about a minute with some boiling water should make this easy) and cut them into forths, keeping the seeds; cut the cabbage into very large pieces; and dice the parsley and cilantro.

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2. heat olive oil in a large pot on medium-high until it starts to shimmer. add chopped onion and ras el hanout, cumin, paprika, ginger, cinnamon, and salt and saute until the onion begins to turn transluent (about 8 minutes).

3. lower the heat to medium / medium-low. add potatoes, turnips, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, chickpeas (if using dried), saffron, parsley, and cilantro to the pot along with 2 cups of water. cover and cook for about an hour.

4. add the zucchini, red chilis, chickpeas (if using canned) and another cup of water. taste and adjust spices. cover and continue to cook until the zucchini is slightly soft, about 15 minutes. remove from heat.

for the couscous:

1. add 3 cups of couscous to a large bowl. add olive oil and work the couscous with your fingers until the grains are coated in the oil.

2. add salt and boiling water, then cover the bowl. allow couscous to steam for about 10 minutes.

3. add butter if desired and fluff up the couscous with a fork–it should be cooked through and much larger in volume.

to serve:

1. in a large dish, pile the couscous in a dome-like shape.

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2. pour some of the sauce from the pot over the couscous, then top the dome with the vegetables as desired. (make sure to fish out the cinnamon stick if you used one!)

couscous dishes are always eaten with khobz and are especially popular during Ramadhan.