Seven vegetable couscous with Moroccan spices

Seven vegetable couscous with Moroccan spices

30 mins
Cooking time
30 mins
Deidre Rooney

Confusingly, couscous is both the name of a grain and the name of a dish that is simply served with the grain. This version is the most basic form of the latter, and you should adapt it according to whatever vegetables are in season.

From the grocer


Quantity Ingredient
80ml olive oil
3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
2.25 litres water or chicken stock
a good pinch saffron threads
1 cinnamon stick
2 handfuls raisins
salt and freshly ground black pepper
400g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
400g couscous
1 tablespoon harissa, or to taste

From the greengrocer

Quantity Ingredient
2 onions, cut into wedges
2.5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small butternut pumpkin, seeded and cut into chunks, about 500 g
3 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm slices
3 large carrots, cut into big chunks
2 small fennel bulbs, outer leaves removed, trimmed and quartered, fronds reserved
4 zucchini, cut into thick slices
3 tomatoes, quartered
a medium bunch of coriander, leaves removed and roughly chopped, stalks chopped


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook the onions until soft and starting to colour. Reduce the heat. Add the ginger, garlic and turmeric and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin, potatoes, carrots and 1.5 litres of the water or stock. When hot, crumble in the saffron threads and add the cinnamon stick and raisins. Season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil, reduce the heat to medium and cover.
  2. Remove the core from each fennel quarter. Once the vegetables have cooked for 10 minutes add the fennel, zucchini, tomatoes and coriander stalks. Cook for a further 15 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the vegetables are completely soft. Add the chickpeas 5 minutes before the end of cooking so they have time to heat through.
  3. About 10 minutes before serving, put the couscous in a bowl, heat the remaining stock or water until boiling and pour over. Add the remaining oil, season well and mix. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Using a fork, fluff up the couscous to aerate and separate the grains
  4. When the vegetables are ready, remove a large ladleful of broth from the pan and mix with the harissa in a small pot and have it on the table so people can help themselves. Add the chopped coriander leaves and the fennel fronds to the vegetables just before serving, with the couscous alongside.
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