Moroccan spiced couscous salad is a delicious vegan salad loaded with vegetables, chickpeas, raisins, nuts, and fresh herbs. This filling salad can also be served as a main course dish.
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If you are a foodie who prefers eating healthy then the recipe which I am sharing today is perfect for you.
The recipe is for Moroccan spiced couscous with vegetables and chickpeas.
This flavorful dish is served as a salad and also as a main course dish. It's a great option for picnics, potlucks, and lunch boxes too.
What goes in Moroccan spiced couscous salad?
- Couscous: I have used instant couscous. Unlike Isralei or Lebanese couscous, generally the regular couscous you get in the market is instant couscous which you don't need to cook. Soaking it in boiling water for 5 minutes is enough. Read the package instructions to cook the couscous you are using.
- Cooked chickpeas: Canned or homecooked both are fine. You may also use other beans of choice.
- Harissa paste: It's a North African spiced hot chili paste. If you don't have harissa, mix roasted red pepper paste with some hot sauce and use that in the recipe.
- Vegetables: I have used only carrot and onion. Feel free to use more vegetables like green peas, potatoes, cauliflower, zuchini, etc.
- Dried fruits and nuts: I have used black raisins and almonds, you can also add other dried fruits, berries, nuts, and seeds of your choice.
- Vegetable stock: Water can also be used but as couscous doesn't have any taste of it's own, I prefer adding vegetable stock to add some flavor to it.
How to make (step by step instructions)?
Step 1: Put 1 cup of instant couscous in a large bowl. Add 1.5 cups of boiling water/ vegetable stock to it.
Step 2: Covel the bowl with a lid for at least 5 minutes.
Step 3: Fluff couscous with a fork and keep aside.
Step 4: Heat oil in a cooking pot and add chopped onion to it. Cook until the onion turns translucent.
Step 5: Add minced garlic and saute for about a minute.
Step 6: Next, add chopped carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes. The carrots should be cooked but remain crunchy.
Step 7: Add chopped almonds and saute for about a minute.
Step 8: Add all the powdered spices.
Step 9: Cook the carrot with spices for a few seconds.
Step 10: Add the harissa paste and saute for about a minute.
Step 11: Add chickpeas and salt.
Step 12: Cook for 1-2 minutes.
Steps 13 and 14: Add cooked couscous and raisins. Mix everything.
Step 15: Cook covered for around 2 minutes.
Step 16: Add fresh lemon juice, pomegranate arils, mint leaves, and cilantro. Mix everything.
Your delicious Moroccan couscous chickpea salad is ready!
What to serve with it?
Moroccan couscous can be served with a stew, grilled vegetables, or any salad.
You can also serve Moroccan roasted potatoes on the side.
Always serve it warm or hot.
To store, allow reaching room temperature then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. It will be fine for 3-4 days.
Moroccan couscous salad freezes well. Put it in a freezer-safe container and freeze. It will be fine for around 4 months.
To reheat either use a microwave or reheat on the stovetop.
If reheating on the stovetop, transfer to a cooking pot. Add a few tablespoons of boiling water and cover the pot with a tight lid. Cook until it gets heated properly. Keep checking and stirring in between to avoid burning and if required add more boiling water.
Recipe tips and tricks
- Couscous doesn't have any flavor of it's own so season it properly.
- Feel free to add more vegetables, nuts, berries, and dried fruits of choice.
- You can steam the couscous in advanace and store in the fridge and freezer. It will help in preparing a quick meal on busy days.
Frequently asked questions
No, couscous is not a grain. It's made with durum wheat semolina and water and is considered a type of pasta.
No, couscous is not gluten-free as it's made with durum wheat semolina.
Instant couscous is pre-cooked and dried. To make it edible you just need to rehydrate it by soaking it in boiling water for 5 minutes.
Israeli couscous is bigger in size and is required to be roasted and boiled for a few minutes before getting used in a salad.
Yes, cooked couscous can be frozen for up to 4 months.
More vegetarian Moroccan recipes
If you want to explore Moroccan cuisine and looking for more easy vegan and vegetarian Moroccan recipes, the following recipes are a must-try:
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Moroccan couscous salad with chickpeas
- Cooking pot
- 1 cup instant couscous
- 1.5 cups vegetable stock/ water boiling hot
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 8-10 almonds sliced
- 2 tablespoons black raisins
- 1 medium-sized red onion finely chopped
- 1 medium-sized carrot chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice adjust to taste
- A handful of fresh cilantro roughly chopped
- 8-10 Fresh mint leaves roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon harissa paste adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon dried ginger powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Put couscous in a large bowl. Add boiling vegetable stock, mix and cover the bowl. Don't remove the lid for at least 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork. Keep the couscous aside.
- Heat oil in a skillet. Add chopped onion and cook until it becomes translucent.
- Add minced garlic and saute for about a minute.
- Add chopped carrot and cook for about 2-3 minutes. The carrots should get slightly cooked but remain crunchy.
- Next, add sliced almonds and saute for a minute.
- Add all the powdered spices and saute for a few seconds.
- Add harissa paste and saute for a minute before adding boiled chickpeas, and salt. Cook the chickpeas with spices for 1-2 minutes.
- Add cooked couscous and raisins. Mix everything and cover the pan. Cook covered for around 2 minutes so that couscous absorbs all the flavors.
- Remove the lid. Add lemon juice, pomegranate arils, chopped cilantro, and mint leaves. Mix everything and enjoy your Moroccan couscous salad.
- Couscous doesn't have any taste of it's own so season it properly.
- You may add more vegetables, berries, and nuts of your choice.
- More easy recipe tips and tricks are given in the post above, please follow them to make this recipe.