Category Archives: mint

couscous variations

Couscous is a great fast food. The variations below are nearly a meal in itself but get yourself some spicy sausage or lamb chops to go with it and you have a great lunch. You can vary the ingredients indefinitely.

Basic couscous

1 cup couscous (precooked)
1 cup strong broth, vegetable or chicken
1 tsp smoky harissa paste or smoked paprika powder (pimento de la vera)
2 tbsp olive oil

Bring the stock to a boil, dissolve the harissa or pimenton, stir in the couscous, cover and let sit for 10 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed. Stir to break up, add the olive oil.

Fennel, pear and nuts couscous

1/2 fennel bulb
1 pear
100g brown mushrooms or oyster or fresh shiitake
2 cloves of garlic
1 Orange
almonds or hazelnuts
chopped mint, and/or coriander and/or parsley

Toast the hazelnuts in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius, when browned put them in a cloth and rub the skin off. Cut the fennel and mushrooms into strips, cut the garlic into thin slices. Fry the garlic with the mushrooms and fennel, salt. Cut the pear into cubes, juice the orange. Add the orange juice, mushrooms and fennel to the couscous and finally the chopped herbs and pear.

Some yoghurt with roasted and ground coriander and cumin seeds goes well with this.

lemon & pomegranate couscous

1 large pomegranate
1 lemon, juice and zest
chopped mint, and/or coriander and/or parsley

Zest the lemons, blanch the peel a couple of times. Scoop out the pomegranate seeds and remove the white membrane around the seeds. Add the lemon juice to the couscous, then the other ingredients.

moroccan mint tea & cornes de gazelle

For this you need some Chinese gunpowder tea, using one small teapsoon per cup and good fresh mint leaves. “Wash” the tea by covering the required amount of tea with one cup of boiling water, wait one minute, strain. Half fill a teapot with fresh mint leaves, add the washed tea and boiling water. Add sugar to taste straight to the pot. It should be quite sweet!

Pour the first glass and return it to the teapot, repeat this a couple of times to mix the tea well. Taste and if required let brew longer or add sugar. Serve by pouring from quite a distance, about half a meter into small glasses to form a foamy head. This really makes a difference!

I found a wonderful pastry called cornes de gazelle in a small patisserie in Casablanca and they go very well with the tea.

filo pastry
300grs almonds, skinned and ground
120 grs sugar
50 grs butter
cinammon, icing sugar

Mix almonds, sugar, a tbsp of rosewater, a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon and butter to form a dough. Shape into little cylinders. Brush filo pastry with butter, cut into squares of ca. 8×8 cms , fill with the almonds and roll into a horn shape. Brush with butter and bake 15 minutes at 160 oC. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve warm.