Couscous isn’t just easy to cook, it also pairs beautifully with soups, salads and even desserts. Enjoy this combination of couscous with a side of sambal and mint chutney.
This recipe was first published in Flavours magazine.
- Festive Couscous:
- 2cups couscous
- 1tsp salt or to taste
- 1/4cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2tsp turmeric powder
- 2cups thin coconut milk
- 2 potatoes large; peeled and diced
- 1 onion large; peeled and diced
- 1clove garlic chopped
- 5-6 okra, lady's fingers
- 1cup cherry tomatoes, blanched
- 1cup nuts, toasted; walnuts, pine nuts, etc
- coriander leaves chopped; to garnish
- Mint Chutney:
- 100g mint leaves
- 50g coriander leaves
- 3 shallots
- 2cloves garlic
- 3cm ginger, fresh
- 3tbsp lemon juice
- 3-4tsp coconut, freshly grated; optional
- salt, to taste
- 50g chillies dried; soaked and seeded
- 100g red chillies fresh; seeded
- 10g bird eye chillies
- 250g shallots, peeled
- 1 onion big; peeled and sliced
- 10g ginger
- 15g galangal
- 30g garlic
- 1cup cooking oil
- 40g tamarind pulp mixed with 1/4 cup hot water and strained
- 50g sugaror palm sugar
- salt to taste
- To prepare couscous: Pour the couscous into a mixing bowl and add the salt and olive oil. Mix well, then add the turmeric and mix again.
- Bring the coconut milk to a slow boil and pour over the couscous; give the bowl a little shake and set aside to allow the milk to be absorbed.
- To cook the potatoes: In a frying pan, heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil. When hot, add the potatoes and cook over medium heat until golden brown on all sides. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To cook the onion and garlic: In the same pan, add a bit of oil and sauté the onion and garlic 4-5 minutes until the onion is translucent.
- To cook okra: In the same pan, add a bit of oil and sauté the okra until just cooked – it must still have some crunch.
- To serve: Toss the couscous with the rest of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and serve, garnished with coriander, with the sambal and mint chutney.
- To make the mint chutney: Place all the ingredients in a blender and process on medium speed to the desired consistency. Cover and set aside for a few minutes to allow flavours to mingle.
- To make the sambal: Place the chillies, shallots, onion, ginger, galangal and garlic in an electric blender with 1/4 cup water and blend until smooth. Pour chilli paste into a wok and cook for 5-10 minutes over medium heat until slightly dry.
- Add oil and cook, stirring over low heat, for 30-40 minutes until oil surfaces. Add the tamarind juice, sugar, and salt, and continue stirring for 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool before storing in the fridge for later use.