Healthy Recipes

Moroccan-Style Couscous with Chickpeas

Written by Yassine

We tried a few different approaches for our Moroccan-inspired couscous with chickpeas before coming up with a basic game plan: Toast the couscous to maximize its nutty flavor, sauté the vegetables, toast the spices, add chickpeas, simmer, and finally add the couscous, which we needed only to hydrate with boiling water. We tasted our way through a long list of vegetables and decided in the end to limit our selection to just carrots, onions, and peas, each of which brought a distinctive flavor, texture, and color to the dish. When it came to spices, we narrowed down our choices to classic Moroccan spices: coriander, ground ginger, and a dash of ground anise, each of which supported the vegetables’ flavor well. Three cloves of garlic, chicken or vegetable broth, and a hefty amount of herbs stirred in at the end rounded out the dish’s flavors.
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
1½ cups couscous
2 carrots, peeled and chopped fine
1 onion, chopped fine
Salt and pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground anise seed
1¾ cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed
1½ cups frozen peas
½ cup chopped fresh parsley, cilantro, and/or mint
Lemon wedges

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add couscous and cook, stirring frequently, until grains are just beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and wipe skillet clean with paper towels.
  2. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in now-empty skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add carrots, onion, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, coriander, ginger, and anise and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth and chickpeas and bring to simmer.
  3. Stir in peas and couscous. Cover, remove skillet from heat and let sit until couscous is tender about 7 minutes. Add parsley to couscous and gently fluff with a fork to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with extra oil. Serve with lemon wedges.

Couscous with Turkish Sausage and Preserved Lemon

Sujuk, a Turkish dry-cured beef sausage, is boldly flavored with spices like cumin and sumac. We thought this robust sausage would pair perfectly with mild couscous. We started by toasting the couscous, which boosted its flavor and helped keep the granules distinct. Because the sujuk was so flavorful, we could forgo a laundry list of spices, choosing to use only a bit of floral ground cardamom. Preserved lemon, which offered an intense citrus flavor, added brightness to the dish, and golden raisins acted as a sweet counterpoint to the spicy sausage. Fluffing the couscous and stirring in fresh cilantro at the end kept the texture light and added freshness to this perfectly balanced dish. Sujuk sausage can be found at Turkish and Middle Eastern markets as well as in the international food aisle of many supermarkets; if you cannot find it, substitute Spanish-style chorizo. For more information on sujuk, see here. If you can’t find preserved lemons, you can make your own (see here).
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1½ cups couscous
4 ounces sujuk sausage, chopped fine
1 onion, chopped fine
2 carrots, peeled and chopped fine
Salt and pepper
¼ preserved lemon, pulp and white pith removed, rind rinsed and minced (1 tablespoon)
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
1¾ cups vegetable broth
½ cup golden raisins
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add couscous and cook, stirring frequently, until grains are just beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and wipe skillet clean with paper towels.
  2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in now-empty skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add sujuk, onion, carrots, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in preserved lemon, garlic, and cardamom and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth and bring to simmer.
  3. Stir in raisins and couscous. Cover, remove skillet from heat and let sit until couscous is tender about 7 minutes. Add cilantro to couscous and gently fluff with a fork to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

About the author

Yassine