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Topic: Cous Cous

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  • What you need:

    2lb stewing lamb
    2onions chopped
    2oz chickpeas (soaked overnight)
    2 carrots cut into even lengths if about three inches
    3 courgettes cut into the same length
    Pumpkin cut into neat squares
    2 tunips cut in neat quarters
    (You can improvise with the vegetables but the above is usual)
    2 tomatoes skinned and quartered
    You can add some potatoes as well if you like
    Bunch of parsley finely chopped
    A good pinch of saffron
    1/4 spoon of ground ginger
    1 teaspoon of paprika
    Red chilli powder or cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
    Salt and black pepper
    A couple spoons of olive oil
    A little tomato puree

    Then you will need a 500 gram packet of cous cous……and a tube or tin of Harissa (north african hot sauce)

    This is best made in a couscousier…a pan with a steamer above in which you steam the cous cous over the stew…but you don’t need that…just follow the instructions on the cous cous packet. In Libya olive oil is mixed into the cous cous before it is served but in Algeria butter is used….both ways are nice.

    To make the stew:

    Put the meat, onions, chick peas, carrots and turnip in the bottom of the pan (these vegetables need cooking longer)…then cover with water and add the olive oil, pepper and ginger and saffron (but not salt at this stage)…bring to the boil then simmer for an hour or so….then when the chick peas have softened and the meat begins to get tender you can add the salt to taste, the paprika, and a little chilli powder to taste and a little tomato puree to colour the sauce.
    Towards the end of the cooking you then add the vegetables that require less cooking…and the tomatoes and the courgettes at the end as the cook very quickly.
    Add the chopped parsley right at the very end so that the flavour isn’t lost.

    To serve put the cous cous (cooked per instructions on packet if you don’t have a steamer) in a large dish and add the olive oil/butter and mix it well into the grains…each grain should be separate, so remove any lumpy bits. Then arrange the meat and vegetables over the cous cous so it looks attractive and add some of the sauce…or you can serve it in separate bowls for each person in the same way. The harissa is very hot so that is offered separately to those who like it.

    Posted on 12:36 on 17 November