About this recipe:Taking its inspiration from North African cuisine, this healthy, wholesome vegetarian dish makes a satisfying main course.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, sliced
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
4 carrots, peeled and cut into small sticks
2 courgettes, cut in half lengthways and sliced
200g celeriac, peeled and diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp each chilli powder, turmeric, ground cinnamon and ginger
500ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 bouquet garni
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
pinch of salt
25g butter, diced
sprigs of fresh mint to garnish (optional)
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Method Prep:30min › Cook:35min › Ready in:1hr5min
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Sauté the onions and pepper for 5 minutes. Add the carrots, courgettes and celeriac, then sprinkle over the spices and cook for a few seconds.
Pour in the stock. Bring to a gentle boil and add the tomato purée and bouquet garni. Reduce the heat, then cover and cook gently for 35 minutes. Add the chickpeas to the vegetables 10 minutes before the end of cooking.
Meanwhile, put the couscous in a large heatproof bowl and pour over 500ml boiling water. Stir in a pinch of salt, then cover and leave to swell for 5 minutes or until the couscous has absorbed all the water.
Add the butter to the warm couscous, fork through, then tip into a warmed deep dish. Using a draining spoon, pile the vegetables on top of the couscous, removing the bouquet garni. Pour over some of the vegetable cooking juices, then serve the remainder in a jug. Serve piping hot, garnished with sprigs of fresh mint, if liked.
*Good alternative vegetables might include turnips, leeks, pumpkin, red peppers, aubergines or broad beans. Some frozen mixed vegetables, combined with fresh, are also useful in such dishes. *If you happen to have couscous spices, use 1 tbsp in place of the individual spices.
I'm not a fan of celeriac, so I chopped up some celery instead, but the great thing about this recipe is that you could use just about any vegetable. I would personally add a little more chilli powder, or maybe some chopped fresh chilli, and there's no real need to add the butter and salt to the couscous. Overall, it was tasty and I'd definitely make it again. - 22 Feb 2011