ALGERIAN COUSCOUS WITH VEGETABLES, WITH OR WITHOUT MEAT

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Here is the recipe for Algerian couscous with vegetables in sauce, as my mother used to make it, with or without meat (vegetarian couscous). Can be made with or without couscous. It is a unique, complete, healthy and comforting dish that you can adapt according to your tastes, by varying the vegetables, spices and/or meat.

Recipe for Algerian couscous with vegetables in sauce, with or without meat (for vegetarian / vegan couscous). Can be made with or without couscous. It is a unique, complete, healthy and comforting dish that you can adapt according to your tastes, by varying the vegetables, spices and/or meat.

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Couscous ingredients

The couscous (the seed) :

  • 500 g of couscous (fine or medium)
  • Salt
  • A little oil

The sauce of the couscous :

4 pieces of meat (optional) – Note 1
1 onion finely chopped or grated
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 bowl of chickpeas (soaked since the day before in water with 1 teaspoon of baking soda)
2 carrots
2 turnips
4 pieces of squash (I used butternut squash)
4 small potatoes
2 zucchinis
1 handful of peas (frozen for me)
1 medium can of peeled, crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of ras el hanout (or a mixture of some spices such as paprika, coriander, ginger, chili powder, cumin)
Salt and black pepper to taste

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Preparation

Prepare your ingredients :

Peel and wash your vegetables. Chop the onion, finely chop the celery. Cut the other vegetables into quarters or chunks.

Start with the sauce:

  1. In the bottom of the couscous maker if you have one, or in a casserole, brown the pieces of meat and onion.
  2. Add spices, the drained chickpeas and celery. Fry for a few minutes.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste, mix well.
  4. Then add the chickpeas and cover with water (about 1.5 liters). Bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes, covered.
  5. Halfway through cooking the meat and chickpeas, add the carrots, turnips, pieces of squash and potatoes. Leave to cook for 25 minutes.
  6. When the meat and vegetables are almost cooked, add the frozen zucchini and peas. Salt to taste.
  7. Bring to a boil again and cook until the meat and vegetables are cooked through and melt. The sauce should be reduced but not too much.
  8. Taste your sauce and adjust the seasoning.
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The couscous :

While you are cooking your sauce, cook the couscous seed as well to save time.

Steaming the couscous (in the couscous maker’s basket) :

  1. Sprinkle the couscous with 1 teaspoon of fine salt. Moisten it with water and let it rest to absorb the water.
  2. Once the seeds have completely absorbed the water, using your hands, stir so that the swollen seeds separate.
  3. At the bottom of the couscous maker, you either have the sauce cooking (if you decided to cook the seeds and the sauce in the same couscous maker), or you simply put water in the couscous maker’s pot if you started to cook your sauce in a separate pot.
  4. When it boils, put the couscous in the couscous maker’s basket, and place it on the pot. When you see the steam escaping from the surface of the couscous, remove the couscous basket from the couscous maker and turn it over in the large deep dish.
  5. Moisten the couscous with a little water and separate the seeds with a large spatula or fork (my mother used to do this with her hands, I think that by doing the couscous so often, her hands can tolerate more heat). Also, add a little olive oil and mix.
  6. Once the couscous is warm, put it back in the basket that you place on the pot. Cook a second time until steam escapes from the surface of the couscous again (about 15 minutes).
  7. After cooking, turn the couscous over again in the large deep dish. Separate the seeds.
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Cooking couscous without couscous maker :

  • Put your semolina in a large microwave-safe bowl.
  • Pour boiling water over it (usually 1 part water to 1 part couscous, or as specified on the package).
  • Cover and let the couscous absorb all the water. Do not stir. It will swell, so do not fill the bowl on board.
  • Add a little olive oil or butter. Season with salt. Separate the seeds with a fork.
  • If necessary, cook in the microwave for 2 minutes.

To serve:

  • Place your couscous in a large dish. Drizzle it with a drizzle of olive oil and mix well.
  • Decorate with vegetables and meat.
  • Sprinkle with the sauce.
  • I put a bowl of sauce in which I dilute a little harissa. Everyone adds sauce as they like.
  • Bon appetite and good health!
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Notes on the recipe

  1. Meat: You can use lamb, beef, poultry (especially chicken), or a mixture of different meats.
  2. To make a vegetarian version of Algerian couscous: put lots of chickpeas, or add other pulses such as white beans and dried beans.
  3. To make your pulses cook faster, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to the soaking water.
  4. You can use canned chickpeas or chickpeas that have already been cooked. In this case, add them to the sauce towards the end of the cooking process.
  5. If, like me, you like spicy :
    You can add 1 or 2 peppers directly into the sauce with the other vegetables (at the same time as the carrots).
    Or steam some chili peppers with the couscous.
    Or add harissa to the sauce. But it is better to take a bowl of stock at the end of cooking and dilute it with harissa. This way everyone can add as much as they like.
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