Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Algerian Coucous Recipe

On a happier note (after "Speak Out", below), here's a recipe for

Algerian Vegetable Couscous

This is a vegetarian version of couscous, Algeria’s national dish. The stew that goes on top of couscous (the steamed grains of semolina that are the base of the dish) appears in endless forms. Feel free to substitute other vegetables and to adjust the spices.

Using fruit in savory dishes is a hallmark of North African cooking. If you like, add ¼ cup raisins or chopped dried apricots or dates to the stew.


1 onion, chopped
2 T olive oil
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp cayenne
1 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 whole cloves and/or 1 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
½ c. water
1 turnip
2 zucchini
2 yellow summer squash
4 carrots
4 potatoes
1 bell pepper
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
½ c. dried fruit (raisins, dates, or apricots), optional
1 c. couscous
1 ½ c. boiling water

1. In large pan, fry onion in olive oil over medium heat until translucent (clear).

2. Add spices, salt, tomato paste, and ½ cup water to onions. Mix, and cook for 5 more minutes.

3. Cut the vegetables in large chunks. Add to onion mix, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low. Cover pan, and simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Drain the garbanzos. Add to vegetables, along with dried fruit, if you choose. Cook for 15 more minutes.

5. Pour boiling water over couscous in a bowl, and cover. Wait about 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.

6. Serve the vegetable stew over the couscous.

Serves 6 to 8.

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