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Tunisian Couscous Recipe

A friend from Canada has been wondering why I have been submitting western recipes only, and asked for some Arabic food … well, your wish is my command my friend … today’s recipe is from North Africa, particularly Tunisia. It is the national dish in most of North Africa and it is called Couscous.
You can make the couscous with lambs meat, chicken, fish or even just vegetables.

Ingredients:

  • ½ kilo meat “cut into cubes”
  • ½ kilo couscous “you can get this at the super store”
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions “cut into small cubes”
  • 2 green peppers
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • Pumpkin “cut into cubes”
  • 1 can chickpeas “ready for cooking”
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder or “harissa*”
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • ½ tablespoon paprika
  • ½ tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ tablespoon cumin

*Harissa is the chili paste Tunisians use for cooking.

Season the meat with the spices and put it into a pot with the olive oil and onions, fry it for a bit, then add the tomato paste, chickpeas and a cup of water, and let it boil for 15 minutes.
Cut the vegetables and throw them in the pot, add 1 liter of water and let boil.
To prepare the couscous, put it into a colander or sifter, over the big pot, wet the couscous and put it into the sifter and steam it for 30 minutes.
Add the potatoes to the sauce, and rewet the couscous in the sifter with a bit of the sauce “which will give it the red color”, continue cooking for another 20 minutes.

Put the couscous in a big bowl, pour some sauce over it and stir it, then arrange the vegetables and meat over it, and you’ve got yourself a beautiful, yummy Tunisian dish!

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