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North African Couscous

North African Couscous is a traditional Algerian cereal preparation that is also quite popular in Tunisia as well as Morocco. It is quite a wholesome meal as it also includes vegetables and poultry or lamb seasoned with special spice mixes and native Algerian green chilli peppers apart from the couscous itself.

Ingredients and Preparation

Onion and minced garlic are fried in olive oil in a large pan; lamb or chicken are added, along with ras el hanout (spice mix). The meat/chicken needs to be fried to seal their juices. Cubed carrots, courgettes, parsnips, potatoes go in next along with about a litre of water. Seasoning with salt, pepper and Algerian chillies is done at this stage. Tomatoes and chickpeas are then added and cooked slowly till the dish attains a stew-like thick consistency. Fresh or dried mint may be included at this stage.

Couscous is meanwhile cooked in a separate steamer with sufficient water, salt and little oil to prevent the grains from sticking together. After continuing to cook for sometime, the couscous is ready to serve.


While serving, it needs to be plated with the piece of lamb/chicken on top and the vegetables decorating the couscous with a generous topping of the sauce/stew.

Nutritive Value

A plate ~ 650 g supplies 719.5 calories with 278 calories from fat; 30.9 g total fat, with 12.8 g saturated fat, 74.4 mg cholesterol; 212.9 mg sodium; 81.1 g total carbohydrates with 9.0 g dietary fibre, 5.1 g sugar and 28.4 g of protein.