Tuesday 23 March 2010

Mutton Couscous (Couscous à l' agneau à ma façon)

Though it is well known internationally, Couscous is the essence of the culinary art of Morocco and North African countries, which is a delicious and balanced fragrant stew made with lamb, vegetables, spices and herbs.

This is a wonderful family meal that I simply enjoy doing regularly as it is a perfect one pot meal, richly balanced and makes a perfect nourishing meal for all.
Now, there is only one traditional method to cook the grains of the authentic couscous and it usually consists of a steamer basket in which the couscous is placed & the basket is placed above a container in which the stew is cooked and steamed for several hours until the wheat obtains a fluffy perfect consistency. I have seen one of my friends do it and of course I would very much love to do it in a traditional way but I haven’t done here :(

I know that the couscous sold in supermarkets has absolutely nothing to do with the handmade couscous made from durum wheat but since I don’t have the traditional couscous steamer at home, I simply stuck to the simple non-authentic way for this time!!! (Excuses to all my readers for that, I know, I know, I hear you screaming out there!!!!)

Nevertheless the stew is made in different methods and one of our preferred one is this hearty broth (a recipe borrowed from my sis E who masters this dish better than me) that we fell in love with from the very first time we tasted it. Hope you’ll enjoy it too!!!

Ingredients (for 4 gourmets)/ Ingrédients pour 4 gourmands:

For the stew/ Pour la sauce:
1 kg mutton (preferably a mixture of Neck / shoulder parts suitable for stew) / 1 kilo d’ agneau (un mélange de collier, épaule, navarin)
5 tbsp olive oil/ 5 c. à table d’ huile d’olive
2 big onions/ 2 gros oignons
6 garlic pods (peeled) / 6 gousses d’ail pelés
2 broth cubes/2 cubes de bouillon
2 tbsp of Ras el Hanout powder/ 2 c. à table de poudre de Ras el Hanout
2 tbsp harissa / 2 c. à table de harissa
3 tbsp of concentrated tomato paste / 3 c. à table de purée de concentré de tomates
Salt / Sel
3 or 4 carrots / 3 ou 4 carottes
4 turnips / 4 Navets
1 small or ½ of one big cabbage / 1 petit Chou or un ½ s’il est trop grand)
4 Zucchini / 4 Courgettes
200g of chickpeas (presoaked in water for 24 hrs)/200g de pois chiches trempés dans l’ eau pendant 24H
A cup of chopped coriander leaves (chopped roughly) / une tasse de coriandre fraiche (haché grossièrement)

For the couscous/ Pour le couscous:
500g of high quality couscous/ 500g de couscous de très bonne qualité
3 or 4 tbsp olive oil/ 3 ou 4 c. à table d’huile d’ olive
Salt & water/ Sel et de l’Eau

For Serving: / Pour accompagner:
8 pieces of Merguez (optional) / 8 Merguez (facultatif)
4 marinated chicken drumsticks (optional) / 4 pilons de poulets marinés (facultatif)

Method to prepare the stew/ la preparation de la sauce:

Wash the soaked chickpeas and drain/ Laver les pois chiches préalablement trempés et égoutter.

Clean all the vegetables. Peel and chop the onions finely / Nettoyer tous les légumes. Peler et hacher finement les oignons.

Peel the garlic pods and keep them whole/ Peler les gousses d'ail et gardez-les entiers

Peel the carrots and turnips and cut them into two/ Eplucher les carottes et les navets et les couper en deux.

Chop the cabbage roughly into big pieces / Hacher le chou grossièrement en gros morceaux.

Slit the zucchinis into two or you may also keep them whole if you want / Fendre les courgettes en deux ou garder les entiers si vous souhaitez

Clean and Chop the meat into medium-big size pieces. / Nettoyer et couper des gros morceaux de viande.

Heat the olive oil in a big skillet and sauté the onions and garlic pods/ Chauffer l'huile d'olive dans une grande casserole et faire revenir les oignons et les gousses d'ail.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the Ras el Hanout powder and 2 tbsps of harissa and stir well. / Ajouter le poudre de Ras el Hanout et les 2 cuillères à soupe d'harissa et bien mélanger à feu moyen.

Add the mutton pieces and brown them uniformly on high flame / Ajouter les morceaux d’agneau et les faire dorer uniformément sur feu vif.

Add salt (Let’s not forget that the Harissa paste & the broth cube contain enough salt already) / Ajouter le sel (N'oublions pas que la pâte d’ Harissa et le cube de bouillon contiennent assez de sel)

Add half of the coriander leaves followed by the tomato paste and keep stirring well. Make sure you don’t burn the ingredients!/ Ajouter la moitié des feuilles de coriandre suivi par la concentré de tomates .  Faire attention de ne pas laisser brûler les ingrédients!

Add hot water and stir well/ Ajouter l'eau chaude et mélangez bien.

The amount of liquid should be about 3/4th of the skillet. Taste & correct if necessary/ La quantité de liquide ne doit pas dépasser le ¾ de la casserole. Goûter et rectifier si nécessaire.

As soon as the stew comes to boil, reduce the flame to medium high, add the cabbage and stir well. and cook covered/ Dès que la sauce commence à bouillir, ajouter le chou. Remuer bien. Couvrir et laisser cuire à feu moyen.

Add the carrots, turnips and the chickpeas after 20 minutes of cooking/ Ajouter les carottes, les navets et les pois chiches après 20 minutes de cuisson.

Continue to cook covered for another 10 minutes; add the zucchini, stir well and cook for another 5 minutes and remove off the flame/ Continuer de cuire pendant 10 minutes ; ajouter les courgettes, bien mélanger et laisser cuire encore 5 minutes et retirer du feu.

Meanwhile grill the Merguez sausages in a separate skillet and keep it warm./ Pendant ce temps, faire griller les Merguez ou dans une poêle séparée et les maintenir au chaud.

Grill or Fry the marinated chicken in some oil until golden brown/ Faire griller ou frire les pilons de poulet marinés dans de l'huile jusqu'ils soient dorés uniformément.

(Marinate the chicken overnight with your favorite marinating mixture; I marinated mine in a mixture of salt, garlic paste, turmeric powder, pepper and harissa) / (Faire mariner les pilons de poulet pendant une nuit avec votre mélange de marinade préféré ; j’ai mariné les miens dans un mélange de sel, un peu d’ail broyé, du poudre de curcuma, du poivre et un peu d’ harissa)

Method for Preparing the couscous (non-traditonal way)/ la préparation non-traditionnelle de couscous :

Boil some hot salted water approximately ½ a liter of water and soak the dry grapes in it for about 10 minutes. / Faire bouillir de l'eau chaude salée (environ un ½ litre d’eau) et faire tremper les raisins secs dedans pendant environ 10 minutes.

Place the couscous grains in a big wide bowl/ Mettre les grains de couscous dans un grand bol.

Pour some oil in the palm of your hands and rub the grains with both the hands. Take some more grains in between your hands and rub again while adding small quantities of oil each time. Repeat the same until the color of the couscous grains turns almost slightly brown and well oiled/ Verser un peu d'huile dans la paume de vos mains et frotter les grains de couscous avec les deux mains. Prendre encore un peu de grains et frotter les grains à nouveau entre vos deux mains, tout en ajoutant de petites quantités d'huile à chaque fois. Répéter la même jusqu'à ce que la couleur des grains de couscous deviennent presque brun et quand les grains sont bien huilés.

Now, pour some water in the hollow of your hand and add water while rubbing the grains to avoid any lumps. Repeat the same until the couscous grains are completely wet/ Maintenant, verser un peu d’eau dans le creux de votre main et ajoutez de l'eau petit à petit, tout en frottant les grains pour éviter les grumeaux. Répéter la même jusqu'à ce que les grains de couscous soient complètement mouillés.

Let it rest covered for about 10 minutes until the grains have doubled the volume. Separate the grains with a fork/ Laisser reposer à couvert pendant environ 10 minutes jusqu'à ce les grains ont doublé le volume. Egrainer avec une fourchette.

Traditionally it is served with the cooked couscous in the middle of a wide serving dish, bordered by the vegetables and meats and the broth and some extra harissa apart. Garnish with the rest of the coriander leaves and serve!!! / Traditionnellement, il est servi avec le couscous au milieu d'un plat, bordé par les légumes et les viandes tout au tour et le bouillon et un peu d’harissa à part. Garnir avec le reste des feuilles de coriandre et servir. Enjoy !!!/ Shahyya tayyiba !!!/Bon appétit!!!

46 comments:

Tina said...

Wow..so colourful and tempting...

Sailaja Damodaran said...

Very colourful meal...........nice click

Soma Pradhan said...

My God...But its still worth the pain taken to prepare such a grand meal

Vrinda said...

Lov couscous..looks too good n nice clicks...

Swathi said...

Vinola,

It is great one pot meal, even though it requires lot of steps. End is rewarded.

Balakrishna Saraswathy said...

Oh my Gosh.how can u prepare such a mouth-watering dish with mutton my dear..terrific hon..really so mouth-watering and i'm drooling as post the comment uaar...I guess it's time for me to move to France and get a home just next to ur kitchen:DDD

Jagruti said...

Very colourful and delicious dish!! an award waiting for you at my place, plz come and collect it!!

Sushma Mallya said...

Beautiful clicks as usual vinolia...very nice one,thanks for sharing...

Shama Nagarajan said...

delicious spread...thanks for sharing

TREAT AND TRICK said...

This is totally new to me and really looks yummy and love your picture, The stew is great with addition of chickpeas, zucchini, turnip and cabbage...

Gulmohar said...

wholesome awesome meal :D Wish you were staying next door to me..lol..

Sarah Naveen said...

Oh Gal!!!! that looks awesome!!! pass me that platter and can finish within minutes..yummy!!!!

Cham said...

Ce plat est succulent avec Merguez et poulet roti - un plat que j'adore! Je n'ai jamais trouve merguez ici au supermarche! Awesome!

Malar Gandhi said...

Cous cous and mutton looks awesome, you always leave me craving' for your dishes, the pictures are simply out of this world' especially the grilled meat on the side' makes me really hungry:(love the way you presented it with vegetables...a complete balanced meal.

And please do share with us, how to make cous cous at home, if possible. Me too use the ready made stuff here, have no clue' abt making it from scratch!

Fimère said...

j'ai aimé ta façon de faire le couscous avec poulet rôti et merguez ça ne peut être que délicieux
bonne soirée

San!!! said...

Droolworthy clicks n sounds yummy yum vino.

SathyaSridhar said...

ennama paakavae rombha nalla irukae presentation rombha proffessional lah iruukuu,,,enna vino neenga prof chef ah,,,

Happy Cook said...

Ilove cousocous, mostly i do the one with vegetable and chicken. Love this one, looks so good.

Priya said...

Omg, my fav...;cant take my eyes from the click...kalakuringa Vino...

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Vinolia
No..No I am not screaming at you!!! This Couscous is so mysterious for me. Now I get some idea what it is. The otherday I ate some couscous preparation Italian style. Just wondering what it is!!! Is it available in India or shall I carry a pack from here.
Now I just enjoyed the photos , book marking it..will read in detail in my kitchen directly from the lapyop and cook for SOMEONE...
Have a nice week, and take care

♥LOVE2COOK♥ said...

Hi dear!!! hru doing there?

What an incredible platter la! Looks so yumm and I'm drooling over nonstop...hehehe ;)

Viki's Kitchen said...

Cous cous i ippidi azhaga samacha saapittutey iruppen naan:) Mutton paired with this made the dinner mouthwatering. What a colorful post dear!

PranisKitchen said...

The presentation is superb..And the dish is very new to me...
looks so inviting..awesome...

Gita said...

This is not fair dear...I am drooling over here :...Couscous with this tasty stew looks and sounds like such a delicious and hearty meal :)

Nisha said...

Great post and recipe is fabulous.

Sashi said...

Drooling Vino, I have never tastes Couscous. Must be very tasty !!

Meena said...

Couscous is so delicious yet so healthy...wonderful presentation!

Suparna said...

Hey V,
I am a vegetarian...but as always would like to pass on a huge compliment for the job well done...lovely platter

vineetha said...

Nice click dear....I think Ur sis is a good cook too ,remember a prawns curry u posted earlier which u said is from ur sister..Thanks to ur sis too ..

Dolly said...

OMG Vinolia..Coming to your blog as always I'm impressed. Ur a great cook indeed... Love the pictorial directions and Mutton Couscous looks amazing. Its a wonderful and balanced meal. I'm tempted to try this dish rt away.. oh well have to look for Couscous first..

nandini said...

Love it - the variety of vegetables, and mutton with the tomato based sauce and grilled meat -wow !!. Sounds like heaven!.
Couscous is something i am yet to try. Like ur pics as well. Kalakareenga vinolia!!!.

Subhie Arun said...

wow wat a grt n tempting dish...too colorful ..n tempting..grt work yar!!keep rocking

Preety said...

looks perfect

Ramya said...

Hearty meal!!Lovely step by step pictures

Alamelu Mangai said...

look yummy.. mouth watering... going to try this week...

Bong Mom said...

Akal

The pictures look so yummy. I want to have some right now

Priti said...

Interesting recipe...looks gud

Sashi said...

Hi Vino, thanks for ur lovely words. Please grab the award I have shared with u here. My hearty wishes to you to receive more, Congrats !!

Saveurs et Gourmandises said...

Un couscous bien réussi. Bravo!
A bientôt.

Yummy Team said...

Awesome pictures and great recipe!!

Cynthia said...

This plate makes me so hungry!

Pedhakka said...

You have a huge collection !! Will visit often !!

SathyaSridhar said...

Vino, thanks for your lovely words on my recipe dear and very happy to hear about ur daughter's bday,,my Belated B'day wishes to ur cute daughter.

Dolly said...

Dear Vinolia, I have shared 'The Honest Scrap' award with you on today's post. Pick it up as and when time permits..I know I have been a lot busy lately...I hope all's well with you.

Yasmeen said...

Love such hearty one pot meals :D

Cuccee Sprouts (is in Cucumber Sprouts) said...

Yummy!!! Looking forward making it with my hand-made couscous. Btw, making your own couscous yields the best tasting grain! Try it, I bet you will never buy boxed couscous again! Here is a recipe with step-by-step pictures http://cuceesprouts.com/2010/10/homemade-couscous/

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