Couscous with seven vegetables

Couscous with seven vegetables

Kesksou bil khodra

Mowie Kay

Seven vegetables are generally used for this recipe, as the number seven is said to bring good luck. For special occasions, such as Rosh Hashanah, it is often garnished with raisins and toasted almonds, but it is also very good topped with strips of sweet or hot peppers that have been fried in olive oil – these add a lovely touch of colour and flavour.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and cut into quarters
2 carrots, cut in half and then into 5cm lengths
2 turnips, cut into pieces roughly the same size as the carrots
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into wedges
200g cooked and drained chickpeas
handful finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
450g courgettes, halved lengthwise and cut into 5cm chunks
250g butternut squash, cut into 5cm chunks

For the couscous

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
350g couscous
450ml hot vegetable stock or water
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the onions over a moderate heat until softened. Add the garlic, ginger, paprika, cumin and turmeric and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, carrots, turnips, fennel, chickpeas, parsley and 450ml water and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the courgettes and butternut squash and cook for a further 10–15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender but still hold their shape.
  2. About 10 minutes before the end of cooking, start to prepare the couscous. Melt the butter in another saucepan and cook the shallots over a moderate heat until softened. Add the cinnamon and couscous and stir well. Pour in the hot stock and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and leave to stand for 5–10 minutes. Fluff up with a fork and pile onto a warmed serving dish. Shape into a mound. Remove the vegetables from the stew and arrange over the couscous. Serve at once, with the soupy sauce on the side.
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