Christmas Eve Couscous
- First make the stew.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
- Add the onions and fry for 5 minutes, then add the carrots, squash and spices.
- Cook for a further 10 minutes, with a lid on, stirring from time to time until all are buttery and spicy.
- Add the water or stock and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables are just becoming tender.
- Add the courgettes and broad beans, and cook for a further 5 minutes or so.
- Season with salt, lemon juice, and a little sugar if necessary (this is best made in advance and reheated, as the flavours improve -- it is particularly good after freezing).
- This is an unusual way to cook couscous, but i find it gives the best results.
- Put the couscous into a baking tin and add 1 pint of water; immediately drain this off and return the couscous to the tin.
- Leave it for 20 minutes, separating the grains with your fingers after 10 minutes, or more times if you"re passing.
- Put the couscous into a sieve or steamer lined with a blue j-cloth.
- Set over a pan of simmering water (it doesn't have to be the stew) for 20 minutes.
- Tip the couscous back into the baking tin and pour over 5 fl oz cold water with the salt dissolved in it.
- Sift the grains with your fingers and leave for 15 minutes, then put back into the lined steamer and heat as above for a further 20 minutes.
- Sift with your fingers into a serving bowl and stir in the butter.
- Set aside while you put together the extras.
- To assemble and serve, take a ladleful of liquid from the stew and add it to the harissa to make a thick paste.
- Put this into a small bowl.
- Drain the chick peas.
- In a small pan, heat the oil and add the cumin seeds, stirring for a moment or two, then add the chick peas and stir until heated through.
- Put into a second small bowl.
- Cover the raising with boiling water, leave for 10 minutes or longer to plump, then drain and put into a third small bowl.
- Put the pine nuts into a fourth bowl -- they can be lightly toasted if you like.
- Finally, put the yogurt into a fifth bowl and dust the top with some paprika.
- To serve, ladle the stew over the couscous and garnish with chopped fresh coriander.