Member Login   ·  View Cart
Tension Magazine: Home
Main Image

 Home : Articles : Moroccan Couscous

Post about Moroccan Couscous on Twitter

arming spices, root veggies & squashes combine with couscous to create a tasty and satisfying cold-weather meal.
2 dried chili peppers
1 stick cassia (or cinnamon)
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp coriander
a generous pinch of saffron
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp non-hydrogenated margarine
2 small tomatoes, chopped
peel and juice of 1 lemon
1 onion, quartered (in eighths if you are using a big onion)
2 potatoes, cut into large chunks
2 carrots, cut into large chunks
2 zucchini, cut into large chunks
1 butternut squash
fresh cilantro to garnish
2 tbsp raisins
2 cups cous-cous (I use whole wheat)
3 cups water

Moroccan Couscous Veggies
In a large pot, heat: olive oil, chili peppers, cassia, cumin, coriander, tomatoes, and onion. Stir and heat until the spices become fragrant, the tomatoes start to get mushy, and the onions begin to turn clear. Some people like to take the chili peppers out at this stage, but I like my food on the spicy side so I leave them in until the end.
Add to the pot: 3 cups of water, the saffron, the salt, and the rest of the vegetables. Bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, on medium. Stir occasionally, and cook until carrots and potatoes are tender (if they are tender, then everything else will be cooked, too). If your water is boiling away too quickly (you do want to boil some of it away), add a little more (as necessary). You can tell the broth is ready because it will look a little thick and be a rich yellow-orange. Remove the stick of cassia and the chili peppers.
In a small cup or dish, add the raisins and ladle a few tablespoons of broth(from the pot) over them. Give the raisins a wee stir and let them hang out. They should get nice and juicy in a few minutes.
Moroccan Couscous Veggies

Images courtesy of Chloe Nightingale.

I like to use 1 carrot, 1 potato, 1 zucchini, half of a squash, and one cup of couscous for every two people.
I do not change the amount of spices or tomatoes unless I am significantly increasing the number of people I am serving (over 4), but I will only use half a lemon if I am only making enough for two people.
I also like to grind the cumin and the coriander in my coffee grinder right before using them (a mortar and pestle works well, too). You may use pre-ground spices, if you like.
I tend to be overly generous with my saffron, which is probably why I am almost always running out, and my generous pinch is enough to give the couscous a rich yellow color.
I know some people advise against heating and frying in extra virgin olive oil, but I really think it imparts a much better flavour than other oils (including regular olive oil). For this recipe, it is not heated alone for too long and the addition of the tomatoes at the beginning takes some of the stress off the olive oil.
Unless the peel is really grungy, I also do not peel my vegetables (yes, you can eat the skin of a butternut squash!), except for the onion. I also do not de-seed my tomatoes.
Some people like to use vegetable stock instead of water (for cooking the couscous), but really, in this case, you are making your own vegetable stock and it is very tasty, if I do say so myself.

Moroccan Couscous Veggies

In a large bowl (lovers of North African food will recommend a large earthware pot), add a tablespoon of margarine to the cous-cous and ladle broth over the couscous (the usual ratio of couscous to liquid is 1:1, although sometimes 1:1-¼ works better). Stir well, so that the margarine melts with the broth and blends nicely throughout. Let the couscous sit a bit and do it's magic.
After about 2 minutes, fluff the couscous up with a fork or with a quick stir. Remove the vegetables from the pot and layer them over your couscous.
Sprinkle the raisins over the top of the couscous and vegetables, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

To leave a comment, you must log in.


I love that you have recipes, too.
- Ann P, 2011-04-21 01:41:35

I do love couscous and I've never made it with butternut squash before, so this sounds awesome. I'm also so glad I don't have to alter it to make it vegetarian.
- malia j, 2010-03-31 11:41:32

You had me at couscous with this one! I think they still have a decent amount of root veggies at the commissary--and my daughter and I are looking for new and healthy recipes to try.
- Carrie M, 2010-03-29 11:49:54

I love sweet spices such as cinnamon with grains, along with raisins -- and with butternut squash too? Gosh, this sounds sooOOOoo good!
- Erica F, 2010-03-25 04:55:02

Wow! I can't wait to try this recipe! It looks (love the photos) and sounds wonderful! I have been eliminating meat from my life for a few months and need something new and different to try besides beans and lentils. I tend to get in a rut. Also, I love the fact that you say we can eat the skin of the butternut squash! Who knew? Thanks for the recipe!
- Beth K, 2010-03-24 08:32:01

Wow! I can't wait to try this recipe! It looks (love the photos) and sounds wonderful! I have been eliminating meat from my life for a few months and need something new and different to try besides beans and lentils. I tend to get in a rut. Also, I love the fact that you say we can eat the skin of the butternut squash! Who knew? Thanks for the recipe!
- Beth K, 2010-03-24 08:30:55

I will keep this recipe for next winter
- Louise B, 2010-03-19 10:05:26

I can almost smell this simmering away on my stove. I'll certainly make some this weekend. Thanks for sharing this.
- Medora V, 2010-03-13 09:30:30

Great looking recipe. I have 2 daughters who are vegan - this is a recipe we can try for everyone in the family.
- Margaret A, 2010-03-11 05:42:35

look forward to trying this receipe, thanks for sharing.
- lydia s, 2010-03-08 12:02:15

Thanks for the yummy pictures! I can't wait to try this reciepe. -Cat.
- Catherine T, 2010-03-04 04:51:36

Looks delicious. And will work with my husbands medically restricted diet. Can't wait to make it.
- Rebecca S231, 2010-03-03 11:52:51

I'm thinking dinner this week… Just saw a special on making couscous by hand. This looks like a great treatment for it. Thanks!
- Shannon M, 2010-03-03 02:17:11

This looks amazing and delicious! Just wish it did not require so many ingredients! Heidi
- Heidi R, 2010-03-03 08:52:44

Oh...this looks really yummy! And I already have everything I need sitting at home to make this....except for the couscous! I love that the recipe calls for rehydration of the raisins! That's a step most recipes leave out.
- Jennifer H702, 2010-03-02 04:52:05

Gorgeous. I was taught couscous by an Algerian friend. There was no butternut squash, but all your other veggies and a turnip. The spices were the same except for cassia/cinnamon-- must try that. I TOTALLY agree about extra virgin olive oil and just had my doctor tell me to use it for my too-low hdl and i could proclaim that i already do!Beautiful and healthful recipe!
- Akua H, 2010-03-01 11:10:59

This looks wonderful!
- debbie c, 2010-03-01 07:18:59

What a wonderful way to spice up couscous. I think I'll try this recipe this week and surprise my husband. He loves Moroccan food! Thanks.
- Kathy A, 2010-03-01 06:47:25

Sounds absolutely fabulous! I must give this a try!!
- , 2010-03-01 03:28:53

What a delicious sounding recipe! Must give it a try!
- nancy a, 2010-03-01 03:27:51

You're right about cooking with olive oil. It taste delicious anyway.
- Pam P, 2010-03-01 01:45:55

I'm drooling! We have a pantry full of couscous, so I can't wait to try this. Once we have a kitchen again, that is…
- Amy H, 2010-03-01 12:20:00

Yay! I'm decidedly not a vegan, but a close friend is and I'm always on the lookout for recipes that will fit her tastes and mine. I'll have to give this a try.
- Heather, 2010-02-27 12:20:56

Yum, yum!
- Larissa B, 2010-02-26 12:39:24

I think I happen to have a lot of these things in the fridge and pantry. I might have to give it a try tonight. I think it would be good with sauteed tofu too!
- Amy M, 2010-02-26 10:28:08

This looks delicious!! Will have to try it!
- Sarah M, 2010-02-26 09:42:06

mmmm looks really yummy. Your photos are beautiful- so vibrant
- sarah c, 2010-02-26 08:18:20

This looks super delicious! For my personal taste, I would replace the margarine with olive oil and omit the raisins. You could also add some cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans) for extra protein.
- Kim T, 2010-02-25 12:55:56

I tend to reach for the Extra Virgin before anything else... except maybe the garlic. ;) This looks very good, I might be able to get my kids to eat it, and they are somewhat picky at times. :)
- carmelvineyard, 2010-02-19 01:18:03

Sounds delicious! I'll be cooking this tonight.
- Betsey S, 2010-02-17 08:10:21

This looks absolutely wonderful. I love butternut squash, but have trouble finding good recipes in which to use it, and one can only eat so much butternut squash soup!
- Kelley L, 2010-02-15 08:58:02

Yum! I'll definitely be trying this!
- Melody C, 2010-02-13 07:11:01

This looks amazing, and it sounds positively delicious. It sounds like it'll come off like a nice, hearty, vegetable soup, and given the weather lately, that sounds divine.
- Gayle M, 2010-02-13 03:06:54

this looks amazingly delicious. i use extra virgin olive oil for cooking onions, garlic and spices in all sorts of things. it really does taste better. and raisins + couscous = love always
- Lysandra F, 2010-02-13 12:22:03

Does the skin of the butternut get soft? I really dislike tough skins on things even though you can eat them. This looks very yummy. I always buy saffron and then don't know what to do with it!
- Karen C, 2010-02-13 08:34:48

This will be good to use for my vegetarian son.
- , 2010-02-12 01:26:25

This looks delicious. I didn't know you can eat the skin of butternut squash. I'm quite relieved actually. I've actually injured myself trying to peel them before! Thanks for the recipe!
- Angela P, 2010-02-12 11:48:38

©2009-2013 Tension Magazine

Custom coding and web design by Josi Hannon Madera.
Valid CSS!    Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional