This vegetable–rich couscous is lower in fat than most pilafs and it makes a marvellous, healthy main dish, or an excellent side dish for almost any simply cooked meat or poultry, when it will serve 8 or more. Any leftovers can be used as a delicious stuffing for chicken or other poultry.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium or 2 small onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small carrot, diced
1 teaspoon mild chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala
2½ teaspoons paprika
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2½ teaspoons ground cumin
4 green cardamom pods
100 g orange sweet potato, chopped
100 g turnip, diced
1 zucchini, cut into bite–sized chunks
100 g green beans
1 can chopped tomatoes, about 400 g
1 litre vegetable stock
1 can borlotti beans, about 400 g, drained
250 g cabbage, roughly chopped
100 g broccoli, cut into small florets
1¾ cups (325 g) couscous
¼ cup (30 g) sultanas
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons tahini
⅓ cup (90 g) low–fat natural yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
fresh coriander to garnish
Heat the oil in a 4.
5 litre stockpot, flameproof casserole or saucepan and add the onion.
Reserve the equivalent of about 1 garlic clove, then add the rest to the pan.
Cook for about 3 minutes or until the onion has softened slightly.
Add the carrot and cook for a further 3 minutes.
Sprinkle in the chilli powder, coriander, garam masala, paprika, ginger, cinnamon and 2 teaspoons cumin (reserve the remaining cumin for the tahini yogurt).
Split the cardamom pods and scrape the tiny black seeds into the pan.
Stir for a few seconds, then add the sweet potato, turnip and zucchini.
Cut the beans into bite–sized lengths and add to the pan.
Cook the vegetables for 5 minutes or until softened slightly.
Pour in the tomatoes with their juice and the stock, and stir in the borlotti beans.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10–15 minutes.
Add the cabbage and broccoli, and cook, covered, for a further 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat to the lowest setting.
Add the couscous and sultanas with seasoning to taste.
Fork through the vegetables and stock.
Cover and cook very gently for 5 minutes.
The couscous should have absorbed all the liquid and plumped up.
Meanwhile, make the tahini yogurt.
(Stir the tahini in the jar to ensure it is smooth before measuring out the quantity for the recipe.
) Mix the tahini with the reserved garlic and the yogurt, then stir in 4 tablespoons water, the lemon juice, the reserved ½ teaspoon ground cumin and seasoning to taste.
Sprinkle with coriander leaves to garnish.
Serve the pilaf with the tahini yogurt offered separately.
The hollows in hard–boiled egg halves make perfect containers for a tasty filling – here carrot and chive – and the eggs look attractive served on a bed of ribbon vegetables and lamb's lettuce. All you need is some bread to make a satisfying lunch.
Couscous is extremely versatile and can be used for both savoury dishes and for sweet ones, such as this quickly made, delicious hot cereal. The couscous is mixed with dried fruit and soaked briefly in hot milk, then topped with fresh fruit, to create something a little different to start the day.
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