Couscous and a vegetable stew

There’s absolutely nothing better than spending a loooong afternoon with friends, food and of course, wine. A lot of chit chat, quite a few laughs, and basically..chilling. Here’s what went down in the ‘food’ part of our lovely afternoon yesterday… couscous and a veggie stew. The basic recipe for the stew comes from The Veggie Table (and I went on overdrive with the veggies!)

couscous and veg stew

Prep time for stew: 40 minutes

Prep time for couscous: 5 minutes

Serves: 4

For the stew, you need:

  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 large potato, diced small, or sliced into thinner 1 inch pieces
  • 1 small zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 1 medium leek, sliced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas, soaked and cooked, or just canned (I found an assorted can of beans with chickpeas, rajma, garbanzo – and it worked well)
  • 3 large tomatoes, blanched in hot water, skin removed and pulp chopped roughly
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of harissa (this is a red chilli and garlic paste used in Moroccan cuisine. I just soaked 6-7 dried red chillies in water for half an hour; and ground them with 7-8 pods of peeled garlic and a tablespoon of olive oil in the mixer)
  • 1 cup of vegetable stock (or plain water)
  • Salt to taste

To make the stew:

  • In a large flat bottomed pan heat the olive oil.
  • Saute the onions and cinnamon for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the carrots and potatoes and stir them around for 2-4 minutes. Cover with a lid and let them cook, about 10 minutes. Stir in between so the potatoes and carrots don’t blacken.
  • When they are cooked through, add the zucchini, leeks, beans/chickpeas and stir well. Add the harissa paste and stir well.
  • Next, add the tomato pulp and the stock. Salt to taste. Let the mixture cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Keep on low heat and simmer until the stock is absorbed and the liquid reduces.
  • Put 1 and a 1/4 cups of couscous in a bowl. Boil double the water and pour boiling water over the couscous. Let it rest for 5-7 minutes covered with a lid. Remove the lid, fluff with a fork. Add a couple of blobs of butter and sprinkle some salt over the couscous. Stir around and mix.
  • Serve the couscous with the stew, hot!

For mid-eastern, continental meals, I much prefer a wine to other spirits. A Spanish red wine was perfect for this afternoon. And to complete the meal, we had the Greek salad (yes again:)..) and the stuffed peppers. And to end it, a fabulous Sheridan coffee layered liqueur that Meena brought along. A split glass bottle, with liqueur on one side and coffee on the other…simply wow design! Off with the cap and you find two nozzles that pour out just the right quantity of liqueur and coffee. (Read more about this here)

Sheridan liqueur

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7 Responses to “Couscous and a vegetable stew”

  1. rekha says:

    Sounds delicious, where in B’lore do you get couscous?

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  2. Anu says:

    Rekha, it’s available at the Metros, most times at Spar and Hypercity super markets.

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  3. rekha says:

    Thanks Anu..I visit metro often, will checkk it out next time.

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  4. Jay says:

    I shoulda been there! Maybe 2012 :)

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  5. Kamini says:

    Oh gosh, I absolutely love couscous and stew! I made the couscous in my tagine one time, came out quite well, not as good as I hoped but decent. And to top it all off with that liquer??? WOW! I’m coming over next time!

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  6. Anu says:

    Jay, that’s gonna get me planning 2012 abhi se! :)

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  7. Anu says:

    Kamini, I bet you picked up the tagine on an exotic trip to the mid east. Or it, by some miracle, available closer home :)? U’re welcome any time! You know, we should make a ‘blog-luck’ party like a pot luck, with Rekha and Sharon too :)

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