Spiced couscous

    30 min

    This is a wonderful recipe which incorporates sweetness and spiciness. Couscous is simmered with dates, mushrooms, cinnamon, star anise and chillies in a chicken stock. It's the perfect side dish for the cold winter months.

    42 people made this

    Serves: 2 

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 2 whole star anise pods
    • salt to taste
    • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
    • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
    • 2 dried chillies, diced
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 4 large fresh mushrooms, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 4 tablespoons chopped dates
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 175g uncooked couscous
    • 350ml vegetable stock

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:30min 

    1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and saute onion until tender. Season with anise pods and salt. Mix in garlic, pepper, dried chillies and black pepper. Continue to cook and stir until vegetables are tender.
    2. Stir mushrooms and lemon juice into the vegetable mixture. Mix in dates and cinnamon and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.
    3. Place couscous in a medium saucepan and cover with vegetable stock. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 3 to 5 minutes, until all moisture has been absorbed.
    4. Fluff couscous with a fork, mix into the vegetables and serve.

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    Reviews & ratings
    Average global rating:

    Reviews in English (26)


    This was fantastic! However, I made a couple of substitutions for personal taste and convenience. I used 2 whole fresh chilies (about 3 inches long) in place of the dried ones and substituted zucchini for the mushrooms for some additional nutrition (and also because zucchini is what I had on hand). In the final step, I added the vegetable stock directly to the veggie mixture, brought to a slow boil, added the couscous, covered the pan, removed it from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. It looked beautiful and tasted magnificent!  -  05 Aug 2008  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This has fast become one of my favorite dishes...so delicious. I serve it with a roasted sweet potatoe. If you cannot tolerate very spicy foods, then lessen the dried pepper to what you feel you can handle. It comes out very spicy. I used crimini mushrooms, they are meatier then the white button. I'd give this 6 stars if I could.  -  02 Feb 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    amazing dish! I would also say, in regards to the previous rating, that I would give this a 6 star rating if I could. I did change something important though. I didn't have any anise on hand so I used a small amount of coursely chopped fennel seeds instead. I haven't had it with the anise, but with the fennel it was grand. This is also a recipe that can be made ahead of time and quickly reheated in the oven. Watch the time on the covered simmering couscous, it barely takes the 3 min.  -  18 Apr 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)