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Couscous with Vegetables or Lamb

Note:  Adapted from Harrowsmith Cookbook and Deborah Madison (The Savory Way). Harrowsmith uses summer squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, and potatoes in their recipe.  Madison uses winter squash (e.g., acorn, butternut, hubbard) ,  peas, and lots of turnips in her Vegetable Couscous.  It should be noted that Peas could be added the last 5 minutes of cooking.  Lamb can be included in the beginning. Serve with  Harrisa, Yogurt, or Tomatillo Sauce.

 
2-3  cps couscou, cooked as directed on package

1/4 cp oil
2 lbs lamb, cut into 2" chunks (opt)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 T salt
1 T black pepper, coarsely ground

1/4 t allspice
1/2-1 cinnamon stick
3/4 t turmeric
dash of saffron threads (calendula is a substitute), if available

1 t fresh parsley and cilantro, chopped, if available
4-5 tomatoes, quartered (in season), or 1 16-oz can drained canned whole tomatoes, chopped
1 cp chick peas, cooked or one can drained

1 lb carrots, peeled, cut in 1 1/2" lengths
1/2 turnip,  peeled, cut in 1 1/2" lengths, or to taste
1 lb winter or summer squash, cut into quarters
4 lb potatoes, peeled & quartered (opt)
1 chile pepper

handful raisins

1. Spread cousous evenly in large, shallow pan. Spring with salted water and 1 T oil, then
rub grains between fingers till water and oil are completely absorbed. Cover and set aside.
2. In deep pot, heat  oil till light haze forms. If using meat, add it now with, onions, salt and pepper.
3. Fry over high heat 6-8 minutes, till browned.
4. Add spices, parsley, tomatoes, potatoes, chick peas and 3 cps cold water and stir till mixture boils.
5. Reduce heat and simmer up to 1 hour, if using meat. While simmering, prepare vegetables.
6. Add carrots and turnips, cook additional 30 minutes. Add more water if necessary.
7. Half an hour before serving, add potatoes, zucchini, pumpkin, chile and raisins. Bring to
boil, then simmer 30 minutes.
8. Meanwhile, steam couscous 30 minutes.
9. Serve broth mixture over couscous.