Couscous Casablanca

A classic Tunisian dish you’ll love.

Couscous Casablanca
Couscous Casablanca

[quicklook-recipe prep_time=”40 min” cook_time=”45 min” serves=”8″ details=”” ]

Couscous is a staple in much of North Africa, where it is often served topped with tender, colorful vegetables. In Tunisia it is usually spiced with a traditional hot chili sauce called harissa.

[ingredients-list title=”Ingredients” serving_size=””]

  • Vegetable stew
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, turmeric, cloves, coriander, and ginger
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chopped tomatoes
  • 5 cups vegetable broth


  • 1 cup pumpkin, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 small sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 turnip, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup green beans, cut into short pieces
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained
  • Salt and pepper



  • Couscous
  • 10 1/2 ounces couscous
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Chili sauce to taste
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest


[step-list-wrapper title=”How to make it ” time=”1 hour, 25 mins plus standing time”]

[step-item number=”1″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Start with the vegetable stew. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and half of the garlic, and cook until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, turmeric, cloves, coriander, and ginger. Cook for a few seconds.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”2″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Add the tomatoes with their juice, the vegetable broth, pumpkin, sweet potato, celery, carrot, turnip, and green beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are just tender, about 15-20 minutes.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”3″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Stir in the zucchini, chickpeas, and remaining garlic. Cook until all of the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper if needed.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”4″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Meanwhile, place the couscous and raisins in a large bowl. Add 1 cup of boiling water and mix well. Soak for 5 minutes.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”5″ image_url=”” title=”” ]When the vegetables have finished cooking, ladle 2 cups of the hot liquid from the stew over the couscous. Cover and soak for 10 minutes. Cover the pan of vegetables and remove from the heat.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”6″ image_url=”” title=”” ]To make the harissa sauce, ladle a cup of hot cooking liquid from the vegetables into a bowl, and stir in the ground cumin, chopped cilantro, and lemon juice. Add chili sauce to taste.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”7″ image_url=”” title=”” ]To serve, reheat the vegetable stew if necessary. Fluff the couscous with a fork, then mound it on a platter or in a large bowl, and sprinkle with the cinnamon and the orange zest. Ladle some of the vegetable stew over the couscous and serve the rest separately. Serve the spicy harissa sauce on the side.[/step-item]

[nutrition-info calories=”342″ calories_fat=”” fat=”3 g” sat_fat=”0 g” choles=”0 mg” sodium=”799 mg” carbs=”71 g” sugars=”” protein=”11 g” fiber=”9 g”] [/nutrition-info]


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Originally Published in Reader's Digest