Moroccan Couscous

Lately I've been trying to be more adventurous in the kitchen and try out some new recipes. I've realised I almost never use couscous, because, according to my better half, it's bland and boring, so I was on the mission to find a great recipe that would blow his taste buds, haha. There are so many fantastic recipes online, it was really hard to choose, but once I saw the combination of cinnamon, cumin and orange, I knew it was a winner. Believe me, he wasn't disappointed and I think this dish will stay with us forever.

Ingredients (4 mains or 6/8 starters):

  • 1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • grated zest of one orange
  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup orange juice

In a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat toast the cumin, ginger, cloves, cayenne, cardamom, coriander, and allspice until fragrant (2-3 min). Then add oil and chopped onion and cook until softened (3-5min). Add chopped bell pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the raisins, salt, zest, and chickpeas. Pour in the veggie broth and orange juice and turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.

When the mixture is boiling, stir in the couscous and remove from heat. This is very important because we don't want to overcook the couscous. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. At this stage you can add a tablespoon or two of butter for a more creamy texture but it's not necessary.

Make sure your pot remains covered to capture the steam from the hot water to create slightly moist grains. Fluff with a fork and serve. To make the dish looking more attractive, place couscous into a small bowl and pack it tightly. Place a plate on top of the bowl and turn the bowl upside down so that the couscous comes out in a dome shape on the plate. 

Decorate with coriander or other greens, orange wedge and some more cayenne pepper.


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