Couscous dish

We all have a certain dish or type of food that suddenly reminds us of childhood and mummy’s cooking. A chocolate cake, a rice pudding, a stew… One of mine is a couscous dish.
It’s basically a north African curry.
In France, there is a big north African community because of the old French colonies (like Indian community over here).
It’s not exactly like a curry (the couscous dish is a one and only) as curries are different; made with different types of meat, fish, vegetables, hot or mild…

This North African curry is usually made with 3 types of meat all added together (lamb, chicken and hot sausages) but like we’re vegetarians, I only make it with the vegetables.
After a couple of attempts, mine tastes very close to my mum’s but still there is something different…

What can I say, I can’t compete against the couscous queen!!

Anyway, this is my version.

For a 4 hungry people couscous, you’ll need:

– 1 big onion, chopped
– 3 garlic cloves, crushed
– 1 big carrot, chopped in half an inch slices
– 2 courgettes, roughly chopped
– 2 peppers (any color), chopped
– Half a tin of chickpeas
– One tin of chopped tomatoes
– 1 stock cube
– 1 dessertspoon of ras el hanout (north African blend of spices)
– 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika
– Salt and pepper

Fry the onion in a large saucepan.

After 5 min, add the garlic. When the garlic starts cooking, add the carrot and spices.

Leave it for 3 min then add the chopped tomatoes and the stock cube. Cook with a lid for about 15min then add the other vegetables. If you don’t have enough moisture, just add some water.

Leave it to simmer for a while (30 min).

When your vegetables are cooked, put the chickpeas in. Season to taste, it needs quite a lot of salt.

Put it aside, lid on and wait for 10min before eating.

Serve with couscous (what we call couscous in the UK is actually only the name of the whole dish; we call it couscous semolina in France).

Mylène

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