I don’t often eat couscous. Perhaps I should, as when I make it I often wonder why I didn’t rustle it up sooner. Anyway, I make no secret of enjoying fruit with many savoury dishes – it just gives that wonderfully exotic taste that brings the flavours together in a way that only fruit can. This dish is tasty and quite filling, especially with the chickpeas, cous cous and nuts, all of which satisfy the appetite. You can also make variations of this if you wish, adding or substituting veggies or fruit, according to seasonal availability, or what you have in at the time. I find this dish goes well with a couple of vegan samosas (the frozen ones work well), and a squeeze of lemon. Let’s go make it.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp curry powder
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
- ½ cup okra
- ½ an aubergine, cut into squares
- 1 small green pepper, cut into small squares
- 200g chick peas (tinned are fine, and quick to prepare)
- ½ a cup of vegetable stock
- 5 pitted black olives, cut into small pieces
- 6 pitted apricots, cut into slithers
- ½ a cup of pitted prunes, chopped
- 1 tsp brown muscovado sugar
- approx 12 almonds (not roasted if possible)
- 400g dry wholemeal cous cous (cook according to directions.
- some orange zest for sprinkling
Use either a large non-stick saucepan, or better still a wok, pour in the oil, and allow to heat slightly. Then begin adding the aubergine pieces, and mix on a medium heat. Now add the spices and a little more oil (as the aubergine will have absorbed most of the oil), and mix well.
Add the remaining ingredients, except for the cous cous, stock, water, nuts and mint, and stir for a few minutes. Then lower the heat, add the stock and the mint, and finally the cous cous. Continue cooking on a low heat until everything has blended well together – 5 minutes should do the trick. Now sprinkle the almonds and orange zest on top and serve hot. Bon Appetit !
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