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Spiced couscous recipe

Spiced couscous recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Side dish

This is a wonderful recipe which incorporates sweetness and spiciness. It's the perfect side dish for the cold winter months.

40 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 whole star anise pods
  • salt to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 dried chillies, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 large fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons chopped dates
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 175g uncooked couscous
  • 350ml vegetable stock

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:30min

  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and saute onion until tender. Season with anise pods and salt. Mix in garlic, pepper, dried chillies and black pepper. Continue to cook and stir until vegetables are tender.
  2. Stir mushrooms and lemon juice into the vegetable mixture. Mix in dates and cinnamon and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.
  3. Place couscous in a medium saucepan and cover with vegetable stock. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 3 to 5 minutes, until all moisture has been absorbed.
  4. Fluff couscous with a fork, mix into the vegetables and serve.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(38)

Reviews in English (26)

by obituary mambo

This was fantastic! However, I made a couple of substitutions for personal taste and convenience. I used 2 whole fresh chilies (about 3 inches long) in place of the dried ones and substituted zucchini for the mushrooms for some additional nutrition (and also because zucchini is what I had on hand). In the final step, I added the vegetable stock directly to the veggie mixture, brought to a slow boil, added the couscous, covered the pan, removed it from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. It looked beautiful and tasted magnificent!-05 Aug 2008

by cookiemonster

This has fast become one of my favorite delicious. I serve it with a roasted sweet potatoe. If you cannot tolerate very spicy foods, then lessen the dried pepper to what you feel you can handle. It comes out very spicy. I used crimini mushrooms, they are meatier then the white button. I'd give this 6 stars if I could.-02 Feb 2007

by kristi

amazing dish! I would also say, in regards to the previous rating, that I would give this a 6 star rating if I could. I did change something important though. I didn't have any anise on hand so I used a small amount of coursely chopped fennel seeds instead. I haven't had it with the anise, but with the fennel it was grand. This is also a recipe that can be made ahead of time and quickly reheated in the oven. Watch the time on the covered simmering couscous, it barely takes the 3 min.-18 Apr 2007

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Ground Turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup couscous
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dried dates
  • 4 tilapia fillets, about 4 ounces each

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I really loved the chicken and tomato sauce, but found the onions to be a little disappointing. I'm certain that part of the problem is that I mis-read the directions and used too much oil, but I just thought the cinnamon was a little too strong. I might try again halving the amount.

YUM! Wanted something different to do with plain old chicken breasts, and this is a winner! I made smaller fillets of the chicken, and used a mix of jasmine rice/brown rice I had on hand - it was delicious! I used 2 cans of tomatoes, and thickened the sauce with potato flour at the end, which was perfect. The onions got rave reviews by all but one guest, who doesn't like sweet and savory together. Serving the onions on the side solved that issue. Love epicurious recipes!

The overall ingredients sound like a recipe for a tasty dish, but this is really lacking. The dish is very bland and has no fresh flavor. I tried to add some other ingredients to get rid of the bitter taste and it helped a little. The dish really needs garlic, sumac, harissa and some fresh figs. Having said that, it is better to start with a whole new recipe. Or, buy a frozen dinner. some may taste even better.

Wonderful blend of flavors. Iɽ cut down on the sugar and the oil to make it more healthful, though. What happened to the cilantro? B

The recipe took more time than I planned, but the cinnamon onions made it worth it. I've made the onion garnish repeatedly they were especially good over pecan-crusted salmon fillets. Yum.

Disappointing. Something inthe gringer/paprika/cumin combination just left an off, metallic taste to the sauce. Husband liked the onions, but not enough to keep them as a leftover snack. Will look elsewhere for middle-east inspired chicken.

This was very tasty. It's similar to a tagine in flavor. Made as written except added a bit of crushed red pepper to the sauce for a little kick. My husband and I both wanted more sauce, so I will double the marinade and sauce ingredients next time. Will probably use chicken thighs next time instead of breasts. I always feel that dark meat absorbs marinades better than white meat. The cinnamon onions were incredible!

Delicious - easy to make, great flavors, and your house smells wonderful while it's baking.


Rinse chicken and lamb in cold running water. Fill a large pot with 20 cups of water. Place the lamb in the pot. Bring to a boil and skim. Add cilantro and onions. Grind spices and add to the pot. Salt, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.

Add chicken. Continue simmering for another 45 minutes.

Remove the onion and cilantro. Add raw vegetables, starting with the ones that take the longest to cook, like turnips or carrots.

Add tender vegetables 15 minutes later. Remove from heat when vegetables are cooked.

Baked couscous with spiced chicken

Put the chicken into an ovenproof dish. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the curry powder, spices, garlic and oil and mix well. Cover and leave to marinate, chilled, for at least 20min and up to 24hr.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven) mark 6. Put the couscous into an ovenproof serving dish and cover with stock. Add 1 level tsp salt, stir and leave for 5min to allow liquid to be absorbed.

Bake the chicken for 5min. Meanwhile, add the sultanas to the couscous and dot the butter over the top. Cover with foil and bake on the shelf below the chicken for a further 20-25min until the chicken is cooked right through.

To serve, add the chicken and juices to the couscous and mix, then sprinkle the coriander on top. To keep the dish warm, cover with foil, reduce oven temperature to 150°C (130°C fan oven) mark 2 and leave the dish in the oven for 10min.


Step 1

Spread out couscous on a rimmed baking sheet. Bring stock, cinnamon stick, garlic, star anise pods, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and 2 tsp. salt to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until salt is dissolved, about 4 minutes. Let cool. Strain stock over couscous discard solids. Let sit, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed and grains begin to swell, 10–15 minutes. Rake and rub couscous with your hands until no clumps remain.

Step 2

Pour water into a large pot to come 1" up sides. Bring to a gentle simmer. Transfer couscous to a steamer basket or a colander and set inside pot, making sure couscous is not touching water. The sides of the steamer basket should be in direct contact with the pot this forces the steam up through the couscous instead of around the sides. (If there’s a gap between the steamer and the pot, fill it in with crumpled foil.) Steam, uncovered, gently tossing occasionally, until steam escapes through couscous, 15–20 minutes.

Step 3

Spread out couscous on a clean baking sheet, discarding any grains that may have stuck to steamer basket. Drizzle ¼ cup cold water over couscous to moisten. Let cool slightly, then rub couscous to break up any clumps.

Step 4

Pour fresh water into pot to come 1" up sides and steam couscous again, tossing occasionally, until tender and nearly tripled in size, 15–20 minutes.

Step 5

Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium, stirring often, and cook until it foams, then browns, 4–6 minutes.

Step 6

Transfer couscous back to rimmed baking sheet and toss with a slotted spoon to remove any remaining clumps. Drizzle with brown butter and toss to coat. Taste couscous and season with more salt if needed. Top with pepper before serving.

Step 7

Do Ahead: Couscous can be steamed once 4 hours ahead. Store on baking sheet at room temperature. Steam the second time just before serving.

Berbere Spiced Couscous

I love when people come to visit. Because neither M nor I am from California, we get plenty of out of town visitors each year. It’s always so much fun because I get to act like a goofy tourist and do all the fun San Diego things I normally wouldn’t do on my own. Most of our family and friends come from areas of the country or world that are rather remote in terms of access to different food cultures. My family in Indiana is just now beginning to experience sushi when I fell in love with it over 10 years ago. Likewise, for M’s family, you won’t find a lot of Vietnamese or Moroccan cuisine in Austria.

Now I won’t claim San Diego has quite the diversity of New York or San Francisco but there are a few little gems in “America’s Finest City” that speak to the diversity of the food culture here. This is the place where I learned to appreciate Pho and well-made spring rolls, Korean BBQ, Lebanese, Moroccan, Filipino and even good Italian fare. Each time we have a visitor we take them to one of these unique eateries so they can experience something different and wonderful. One of our favorite places to go is this lovely little family-owned Ethiopian restaurant called Muzita. Everyone loves sharing a big plate, and digging in with their hands, sans utensils.

Abyssinian cuisine uses an interesting combination of spices, often rich and spicy. One of the main seasoning blends is called Berbere and is a mixture of spices that usually includes chili pepper, garlic, basil, ginger, rue, fenugreek, ajwain and nigella. Now these aren’t common spices for most of us to have in our kitchen and I wasn’t about to go buy whole jars of nigella and ajwain to make my own so when I found Berbere seasoning at Penzey’s Spices I knew I had to have it!

I’m always looking for things to add some pizzazz to couscous or quinoa and a touch of this Berbere seasoning does the trick. It adds a distinctive spiciness and heat yet is familiar enough that most everyone will enjoy it. Pair it with grilled lamb, sausage, chicken or vegetables and bring a little of the exotic to your dinner table.

Berbere Spiced Couscous

Servings: 6 • Size: ½ cup • Weight Watcher Points+: 4

Calories: 180 • Fat: 2g • Carbs: 38g • Fiber: 2.5 • Protein: 5g

Sugars: 2g • Sodium: 40g • Cholesterol: 0mg

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon Berbere seasoning
  • 1 ½ cups couscous
  • 12 fresh basil leaves

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the tomatoes and sauté, stirring occasionally until blistered, about 3 minutes.

Carefully pour in the water and stir in the Berbere seasoning. Turn heat to high. When water reaches a boil, stir in the couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let sit 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Stack the basil leaves on top of each other and roll together lengthwise. Cut the basil into chiffonade by cutting into the basil roll crosswise. Add half the basil to the couscous and stir to combine. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the remaining basil.

Roasted Garlic Italian Couscous Salad

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A roasted garlic Italian Couscous Salad that’s light and refreshing! We’re roasting garlic and tomatoes and adding it to pearl couscous with an easy Italian dressing, fresh basil, olives, and fresh mozzarella. The perfect spring side dish!

The season of salads is upon us!

And here’s another one to add to your list to make over and over again. My roasted garlic Italian couscous salad came about one evening when I was trying to clean the fridge and tie up all the loose ends in a neatly wrapped, meal prep friendly salad.

Said, ‘loose ends’ happened to be around because someone I know went a little (read: crazy) overboard in the produce aisle and cheese case at Costco and came back with what can only be described as the world largest log of fresh mozzarella and a box of cherry tomatoes bigger than one’s head. Things like this happen to people at Costco, I’ve noticed. Not that anything like this has ever happened to me before. 🙋🏻

But since it happens to be the start of spring and summer potlucks and picnics, I think it’s the perfect time to introduce you to my happy outcome – Italian couscous salad with roasted garlic dressing.

In the past, I’ve shared with you guys my favorite Mediterranean Pasta Salad which so many of you have made and loved. I want to say that today’s pearl couscous salad has a similar vibe. Different flavors but along the same notes.

Once it’s officially spring, it’s like all I want is greens, veggies, and cheese. Then again, when do I not want cheese? And this Italian Couscous salad hits all the notes. But there is also a lot here that doesn’t usually go into a traditional salad, at least not the kind I grew up eating. In the Midwest, if you’re salad didn’t contain eggs, potatoes, or mayo, it simply wasn’t a salad. Okay, I admit, maybe it was more of an unspoken rule. But my Italian couscous salad is nothing like the retro salads most of us grew up eating. I’m talking about a salad that’s 100% free of mayo, eggs, and potatoes. It’s a more elevated, modern, more sophisticated type of tomato and mozzarella salad that you can serve with just about anything on the side.

Negative, it’s not a Caprese salad either.

We’re using pearl couscous today because during my springtime kitchen pantry tidy up, I found a large mason jar full of this stuff. I must’ve purchased it sometime earlier and just hadn’t gotten around to finishing. Maybe it was another Costco binge we can’t be sure. Besides the obvious, over the top cuteness of pearl couscous, to me, the flavor is just like pasta and works well with just about everything. Of course, you can easily swap it out for something like orzo or any other tinny, tiny shaped pasta you like.

Roasted Garlic Italian Couscous Salad – what’s to love:

  • Let’s start with the obvious: not another mayo-based salad
  • It feeds a crowd
  • This couscous salad is easily customizable! I’ve used roasted cherry tomatoes, olives, roasted red peppers, mozzarella, chopped basil, and chopped parsley but you could easily swap one or more ingredients out for something else that you like or prefer.
  • You don’t have to use pearl couscous! You can replace it with equal parts dried farro, cooked quinoa (roughly
  • TIP: If you go with fresh tomatoes, feel free to grab roasted garlic from the deli counter, so you don’t have to spend time making some for the dressing

May I offer a little advice? Double the ingredients for the dressing.

Not because this salad needs more than one portion. Because the roasted garlic dressing is so darn good. I regretted it the minute I was done making it the first time around because I hadn’t. See, the garlic cloves we tossed in with the tomatoes for my Italian couscous salad play a two-part role.

  1. The obvious, they help give the tomatoes the most delightful garlicky aroma.
  2. And more importantly, we’re going to use the roasted garlic in our homemade Italian dressing.

And believe me, that dressing is a dream!

It’s pantry staples other than the garlic. A little olive oil, a few dried herbs, a hint of honey, dijon, and red wine vinegar. Take it from someone who enjoyed this dressing for almost two weeks straight, that dressing is heavenly!

To finish off the Italian couscous salad, I suggest using tons of herbs! I’ve got a bunch of chopped basil and parsley. Both work beautifully with all the other ingredients we’ve used.

You’ll notice that I have kalamata olives in Italian couscous salad, and yes, it’s not really Italian, but it’s what I had in the fridge and what I wanted to, or rather, had to use up. If you have the choice, I suggest black olives here. I think the flavor would work well. Kalamatas, clearly also work.

And there it is. Our gorgeous Italian couscous salad. To me, the roasted tomatoes and mozzarella along with the peppers and basil give it a pizza like quality. Just brighter, healthier, and dare I say, more flavorful?

Recipe Summary

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed and skinned (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • ⅔ cup uncooked couscous
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ¾ cup unsalted chicken stock
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Combine cumin, sugar, chili powder, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon salt, red pepper, lemon rind, and black pepper in a small bowl rub spice mixture over both sides of chicken. Heat a large ovenproof skillet or cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan, placing it skin side down cook 5 minutes on each side or until chicken is browned. (If necessary, work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.) Transfer pan to oven. Bake chicken at 425° for 14 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from pan let stand 10 minutes before serving.

While chicken rests, heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan swirl to coat. Add couscous and garlic to pan cook 2 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring frequently. Carefully stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and chicken stock. Bring liquid to a boil. Remove from heat cover and let stand 4 minutes (avoid opening the lid). Fluff couscous with a fork, and stir in parsley and lemon juice.

Moroccan Meatball Couscous Soup

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A flavorful Moroccan meatball couscous soup. A flavorful broth spiced with Moroccan flavors with meatballs and Israeli couscous. This soup is so warm and comforting. It can be made with ground lamb or beef that is seasoned and baked. The pearl couscous pairs beautifully and makes this soup so rich and flavorful!

We’ve gotta another soup for you here! Can I get a whoop whoop!

And this time it’s not only warm and comforting (what soup isn’t, right?) but it’s also loaded with little pearl couscous cuties and mini baby meatballs that are spiced to perfection. The flavors in the meatballs kind of mellow out in the chicken broth and together they make the most warm-your-soul kind of soup.

It’s the i’m-feeling-under-the-weather soup but still loaded with seasonings and such to make sure it’s also flavorful. Because, I for one, refuse to sip soup that tastes like melted cardboard. If I had to describe it in a few words, I’d say it’s really just sunshine in a bowl. The curry powder, turmeric, and thyme make the broth so warm and comforting. It feels like a little ball of sunshine just touched your heart. I live for soup like this.

As it’s already March and the weather here in Texas is still cold and we’ve had weeks of gloominess, all i’ve wanted to do lately is to cuddle up with a bowl full of soul-warming soup. We’ve been fortunate enough to not have gotten snow, but our poor friends to the north of us in Dallas have been hit with it a few days last week. Though it doesn’t snow very often in the state of Texas, when it does, the entire state is pretty much shut down. Snow days = the 2 S’s. Sleep + Soup.

If you’re looking for a comforting, yet light and flavorful meal, this is the soup for you. One bowl of this steaming hot meatball soup will leave you satisfied for hours without all the guilt. This soup is ideal to make at the beginning of the week and enjoy all week long. We had it for dinner one night, and since there’s only 2 of us, we enjoyed it twice more during the week. I have to say, I flavor of the soup developed even more by the following day and the meatball couscous soup tasted even better. <– I didn’t think that was possible.

The ingredients for this soup are quite straight forward. We season the meatballs in this meatball soup rather than the broth itself. Once the meatballs are baked, they get a chance to mellow out in chicken broth. If you’re worried about the meatballs breaking up in your soup, worry not. The baking helps ensure that these guys hold their shape. The meatballs take a total of 10 minutes to bake up. That’s a quick 5 minutes of mixing and 10 minutes of baking time.

While the meatballs are baking, you can toss the pearl couscous into a pot to cook up. Some people like to cook them up the same way you boil pasta. I like use more of the quinoa method to prepare my Israeli couscous. I like to heat up a bit of oil and sauté the couscous for a few minutes. This helps develop a little nuttiness to the couscous, which let me just say, tastes aH-Mazing!

This incredibly comforting soup is all about flavor. Soup usually has the tendency to be on the bland side if it isn’t spiced correctly. I for one, cannot enjoy flavorless soup. No way, dude. I’ve used a handful of spices to help flavor the meatballs in this soup, I encourage you to not leave any of them out. Each and every one of these spices bring something wonderful to the meatball. Trust me, the meatballs are where all the goodness hides.

Spices. I used a blend of coriander, cumin, curry powder, thyme, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, chili powder, and fresh ground salt and pepper. But what really helps these meatballs taste even better is the tomato paste. Yes! Tomato paste mixed right into the ground beef mixture. A couple tablespoons of tomato paste really helps develop the color and flavor of these meatballs. The tomato paste acts like a delivery system for the spices. It helps ensure that all the flavor is evenly dispersed throughout.

Other than the spices in the meatballs, the only thing that flavors this meatball couscous soup is some garlic cloves and a few shallots.

It’s a delicate chicken broth with lots of itty bitty pearl couscous and mini meatballs that will be fun for the little ones to eat (and the big ones too). This Moroccan meatball couscous soup recipe is sure to keep you nice and warm, with happy, full bellies.

Watch the video: Couscous mit Rindfleisch und Gemüse الكسكس باللحم البقري والخضروات (October 2022).