Couscous really is a vehicle for flavour and will carry whatever you team it up with so, so well. The delicate and sexy flavour of saffron in this recipe is a perfect example. Filled with other, more bold flavours of cilantro and lemon and red onion, the saffron is supported by the couscous, whispering it’s sexy secrets to the tongue. It’s one of those recipes from which you’ll hear: “wow, what’s that taste, I just can’t put my finger on it!”
In my silly foodie opinion, there should be more things in this world filled with the delicate hint of spices such as saffron and vanilla, they’re so damn delicious, but I guess, if there was more, they wouldn’t be so special, so perhaps we should just keep it the way it is; popping up every so often like a wonderful surprise.
This recipe was inspired by a friend of mine, who when having a dinner party, had made a beautiful lamb tangine and was not sure whether to serve it with mashed potatoes or roasted ones, “hold the phone!” I cried… “I’ll bring you some couscous!”
Moroccan Style Couscous
500mls water or stock
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
3 pinches saffron stamens
2 lemons (zest and juice)
3 spring onions
1 handful of cilantro
1 handful chives
1 small red onion
1 red pepper
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
You can adjust this recipe easily depending on how many you are feeding, basically allow about 100gms of couscous per person and use equal amounts of water to couscous. Pour the dry couscous into a bowl large enough for you to stir everything around in without spilling stuff everywhere. Stir through your dry spices; the ground coriander, cumin and saffron. Bring your stock or water to a boil and pour over the couscous. Allow to stand, covered, for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, zest the lemons and then juice them. Finely chop the spring onions, fresh herbs, red pepper and onion.
Fluff the couscous with a fork and stir through the lemon zest and juice, and all the finely chopped vegetables. Check for seasoning and add sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to your own liking. The couscous should still be warm and is now ready to serve. This makes a perfect accompaniment to a Moroccan Tangine, or any slow-braised meat dish. You can also serve it on its own as a warm salad, or with sliced roast chicken as a quick and easy lunch. Stirring natural yoghurt through it is also a nice finishing touch… if you are serving it with something quite spicy.
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