This one is for my friend D (hmm, there are a lot of Ds in my life) who is an expert on mustard. You know who you are
Four years back, if you’d asked me what ‘Couscous’ was, I’d have only had a vague idea, but now it is a kitchen staple in my house. My husband, (diehard South Indian food fan that he is) has still not made the shift, but I make it 2-3 times a week and all my women friends love it.
It’s healthy, tasty, quick to cook and best of all- a one pot meal which needs no accompaniments. And you can vary it up each time with different veggies.
Couscous 1 cup
Vegetable oil 4-5 tsps
Celery, diced, 1/2 cup
Red and yellow peppers, diced, 1/2 cup or more
Green chillies, minced, 2 (you can seed them if you wish)
Cumin powder, 1/2 tsp (use less if the smell is too strong for you)
Cinnamon powder, 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Hot water, 1 cup
Pine nuts, toasted, 1/4 cup
Coriander or parsley, chopped, for the garnish
Cranberries or pomegranate seeds, 1/4 cup, for topping
Have all your vegetables diced and ready. This dish comes together very quickly.
Here, from left to right- red pepper, coriander, celery and green chillies.
Start by toasting your pine nuts in a large wok. When lightly browned, set aside.
Using the same wok or pan, add the oil and lightly sauté the celery.
Next add the couscous and mix until each grain is coated with oil. This prevents it from clumping.
Add the diced veggies and the cumin and cinnamon powders. Add salt and continue to mix.
Next add 1 cup of hot water, and cover the wok and bring the couscous to a boil.
The couscous cook within 5 minutes and absorbs all the water. So don’t panic when you turn off the heat, I you find it watery still.
After 5-6 minutes, when all the water is absorbed, fluff up the couscous with a fork, and transfer to a bowl.