Thursday, April 3, 2014

Curried Couscous

Have you ever eaten couscous before? Well, to me, it is sort of getting used to. Couscous, by itself are pretty bland, just like rice, only the texture is rather different from rice. It is sort of grainy, yet soft and it has that slight distinct grainy aroma, just like rice has that special fragrant of rice! Couscous are pretty easy to "cook", just soak them in some hot boiling liquid, either water or stock, and keep covered, undisturbed for about 10 minutes or so until the grains have swelled and softened. Use a fork to gently fluff them up. 

I was introduced to couscous when I started blogging, several years ago. Seeing all the recipes and salads made with couscous, I was really curious. The first time that I've made some couscous, I did not really like it that much, as it was pretty tasteless and perhaps I did not season it well enough. Over time, I have tried several recipes, some of which I have posted in my blog, and some I did not. And now, I like eating couscous, maybe because I have learnt to adjust the seasoning and ingredients to suit my own taste.

This recipe Curried Couscous from Ina Garten is really good. It really is very tasty and I could eat it as a meal on its own. I have made some minor changes to the recipe, like omitting the nuts and using cranberries, and homemade chicken stock instead of water. Since I am only serving for two, I've made half the recipe.

The recipe calls for a tablespoon of butter to be melted in some hot boiling water, and then pour over the couscous grains in a heat-proof bowl. I have however, used my homemade chicken stock and omit the butter. Pour the hot boiling stock over the couscous, cover the bowl, and leave undisturbed for about 10 minutes. 

The dressing : In a bowl, whisk together the yoghurt, white wine vinegar, olive oil, curry powder, turmeric powder, salt and pepper.
The mix-ins : In another bowl, combine the chopped parsley (I have replaced with fresh coriander), finely diced red onions, sliced scallions, currants, finely diced carrots (which I have omitted), dried cranberries (my addition), and sliced almonds (which I have omitted).
When the couscous is done soaking at the end of 10 minutes, fluff them up gently using a fork, they should be light and fluffy.
Pour the dressing over the fluffed couscous and mix to combine gently. Next, add all the mix-ins ingredients and toss to combine. Adjust to taste with some salt and pepper if necessary.
Serve at room temperature.

This couscous is delicious! I am glad that I have omitted the almonds and used dried cranberries instead. This dish makes a lovely side dish and it is so perfect with some baked chicken which I will be sharing in next post. Healthy and delicious, and looks really nice too, when a big bowl of this lovely couscous with the green and red specks against the yellow grains, is placed on the table next to the main course. You would want to dig right in!

Curried Couscous
(adapted from
1-1/2 cups couscous
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (did not use this)
1-1/2 cups boiling water (I use homemade chicken stock)
1/4 cup plain yoghurt
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (I use fine sea salt, adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup small-diced carrots (did not use this)
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup dried currants or raisins
1/4 cup blanched, sliced almonds (did not use this, sub with dried cranberries)
2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1/4 cup small-diced red onion

Place the couscous in a medium bowl. Melt the butter in the boiling water and pour over the couscous. Cover tightly and allow the couscous to soak for five minutes. Fluff with a fork.
(I use chicken stock instead of water, and omit the butter)

Whisk together the yoghurt, olive oil, vinegar, curry, turmeric, salt and pepper. Pour over the fluffed couscous and mix well with a fork. Add the carrots, parsley, currants, almonds, scallions, and red onions, mix well, and season to taste. Serve at room temperature.


I'm linking this post to Cook Like A Star, All-Stars Anniversary Party, hosted by Zoe of Bake For Happy KidsMich of Piece of Cake and Joyce of Kitchen Flavours.
(click on any of the hostess blog for further info and to link your posts)

All-Stars Anniversary Party featured chefs :  Ina Garten, Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, Curtis Stone, Ree Drummond, Bill Granger, Masterchefs, Martha Stewart, Delia Smith, Donna Hay


  1. Delish! Couscous is on my menu too this April!

  2. Delicious and lovely looking couscous. Excellent preparation.

  3. I love couscous...and the idea of curry in it just sounds delicious, I too like to add dry fruit...looks amazing Joyce....thanks for the inspiration!
    Hope you are having a wonderful week :D

  4. I enjoy couscous from time to time. Your curry version looks very tempting and delicious.

  5. Very flavourful couscous, can happily have anytime.

  6. This sounds delicious, thanks for posting. We are enjoying curry more and more in our house.

  7. Hi Joyce , this is a keeper , thanks for sharing :)

  8. Ive always wanted to try couscous and with your curry flavour, Im sure to love this too.

  9. Curry couscous is something new to me but I love anything from Ina and u :)

  10. Hi Joyce,

    I like couscous! ... but my husband and son didn't like it. All they want is white rice and noodles! hmmm... Curry couscous sound very flavoursome to me!


  11. My family likes quinoa but dunno why they dont like cous cous... I gotta try one style which they can accept... this sounds pretty nice to me.

  12. Hi Joyce! I think I may have eaten couscous before in the form of tabouleh. I wasn't very impressed with the taste or even the texture. But that was long ago. I should give it another try.

  13. me too, i only came to learn about couscous after i started blogging. It is a good alternative to rice if i want something not so heavy. curry flavour sounds not bad at all!

  14. Joyce, just today my gf & I talked about couscous and quinoa. Yes, I did have couscous b4 & I think it is quite a common food served in Africa, am I right? Curry couscous sounds like a great dish!

  15. I do enjoy couscous when it is full of flavor as this recipe is. This looks delicious and wonderful for spring and summer!

  16. I have not eaten couscous before and would like to have a try!

  17. Buen complemento me encanta su comida,abrazos

  18. This looks flavourful and delicious, especially love the curry flavours.

  19. This couscous looks lovely & I like Ina gartens recipes. First time at your space & you have a nice blog.