Sept legumes with couscous

Sept legumes with couscous

By
From
A Month in Marrakesh
Serves
6
Photographer
David Loftus

In a grander version, known as Couscous Royale, popular throughout the Mahgreb and Parisian restaurants, this dish is cooked with different meats, such as lamb and Merguez sausages, but a vegetarian version is just as good. Traditionally, the seven vegetables used are potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, courgettes, turnips, cabbage and onions, but you can add others like aubergines and artichokes.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
300g chickpeas, soaked in water overnight
cold water
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
8 large carrots, peeled and halved lengthways
8 small onions, peeled whole
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut lengthways into thick pieces
1kg pumpkin, peeled and cut into thick pieces
600g cabbage, cut into thick pieces
6 medium courgettes, trimmed and halved lengthways
8 small round aubergines, halved
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Couscous

Quantity Ingredient
500g couscous
cold water
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
sea salt
1 teaspoon ground saffron
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, including stems, finely chopped
1 tablespoon see method for ingredients
freshly ground black pepper
180g unsalted butter

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
* harissa [rid:1562]

Method

  1. Drain the chickpeas and remove any skins before using. Place in a large saucepan, cover with water and cook over a medium heat for 1 1/2 hours, or until tender. Drain, transfer to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Place the couscous in a large bowl, cover with cold water and mix well. Drain immediately and place the couscous back in the bowl, then leave for 10 minutes. Rub the grains together between your hands, letting them fall back into the bowl, to break up any lumps. Leave for a further 10 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, a pinch of salt and about 100ml cold water and mix until all the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Place the saffron, ginger, parsley, tomato purée, remaining olive oil and 3.5 litres of water in the bottom of the couscoussier. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil over a medium heat. Add the couscous into the top part of the couscoussier, cover with lid and steam for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the couscoussier from the heat and transfer couscous to the bowl. Allow to cool then mix in one-third of the butter with your hands. Then, slowly add 300ml cold water combining it with the couscous grains. Return couscous to the top part of the couscoussier, replace the lid, and steam over the boiling liquid for 20 minutes. Transfer couscous back into the bowl, allow to cool then add another third of the butter and mix with your hands.
  5. Meanwhile, add carrots, onions and potatoes to the liquid in the bottom of couscoussier and cook for about 5 minutes over a low heat. Add chickpeas, pumpkin, cabbage, courgettes and aubergines to the other vegetables in the couscoussier.
  6. Return the couscous back to the top part of couscoussier, cover with the lid. Simmer the vegetables and chickpeas, and steam couscous over a low heat for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  7. Remove the couscoussier from the heat and transfer the couscous to the bowl again. Allow to cool then add remaining butter and mix, using your hands.
  8. Transfer couscous to a serving bowl. Using a slotted spoon, arrange the vegetables and chickpeas over the couscous. Pour some liquid from the couscoussier over the vegetables and serve with harissa.
Tags:
Morocco
Moroccan
Marrakesh
Africa
African
North African
Month
A Month in Marrakesh
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