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Moroccan Stew with Couscous

Moroccan Stew with Couscous

 

Preparation time: 40-45 minutes, plus soaking
Cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves 4-6

  • 125 g (4 oz) green lentils, rinsed

  • 600 ml (1 pint) water

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 small onions, cut into wedges

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 12 new potatoes, halved if large

  • 2 large carrots, thickly sliced

  • 250 g (8 oz) couscous

  • 2 courgettes, sliced

  • 175 g (6 oz) button mushrooms

  • 300 ml (1/2 pint) tomato juice

  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree

  • 125 g (4 oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons chili sauce, plus extra to serve (optional)

  1. Put the lentils in a saucepan with the water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat half the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions, garlic and spices for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and carrots and fry for a further 5 minutes. Add the lentils with their cooking liquid, cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

  2. Rinse the couscous several times under cold running water to moisten all the grains, then spread out on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little water and then leave to soak for 15 minutes.

  3. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the courgettes and mushrooms for 4-5 minutes until lightly golden. Add to the lentil mixture with the tomato juice, tomato puree, dried apricots and chili sauce and return to the boil. Cook for a further 10 minutes until the vegetables and lentils are tender.

  4. Steam the couscous according to the packet instructions or over the stew in a double boiler for 6-7 minutes. Transfer to a large warmed bowl, spoon the vegetable and lentil stew over the top and serve the juices separately, with extra chili sauce if liked.

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