Thursday, December 31, 2009
Moroccan Vegetable Chickpeas Couscous
Moroccan Cuisine is one of the most diversified Middle eastern cuisines.Two talented bloggers Sabah of Sousou kitchen and Touria of Cuisine Touria hosted the Moroccan Cuisine for the Walima club December.They choose to celebrate with ever so popular Moroccan Couscous as the savory dish.Do visit their blogs to learn more recipes from the rich cuisine.
A Quick Intro. of Moroccan Cuisine
The Moroccan Cuisine is one of the diversified cuisines in the world. It is a mix of Berber, Spanish, Moorish, Middle eastern, Mediterranean and African Cuisines.
1)Moroccan-Berber cuisine:The Moroccan Cuisine has been influenced by the native Berber cuisine which differs from one area to an other within North Africa.The principal Berber food is:
-Tajine wich is a very diversified dish
-Mechoui or lamb barbecue
-Harira which is a famous Moroccan soup during Ramadan.
-Bread made with traditional yeast
Andalusian cuisine has also influenced Moroccan Cuisine. Moriscos or (Muslim refugees) who were expelled from Spain during the Spanish inquisition brought with them their civilization. The famous Moroccan Andalusian dish is Pastille which is a wedding dish made of chicken and almonds. Besides pastille, a lot of Moroccan pastries are based on Andalusian pastry such as almond cookies.
3)Moroccan-Middle eastern cuisine:
As Moriscos, Political refugees left Baghdad in the middle ages and settled in Morocco, bringing with them traditional recipes that are now common in Morocco but Forgotten in the middle east. There is a striking similarities between 12th Century collection of recipes by Al-Baghdadi and contemporary Moroccan dishes. A signature characteristic is cooking fruit with meat like quince with lamb or apricots with chicken.
4)Moroccan-Jewish cuisine:Jewish cuisine has also influenced Moroccan Cuisine. The Mizrahi's style is still well noticed in salad starters Made by marinated olive and vegetable.
Moroccan Cuisine is based on the use of different spices but the most characteristic feature is the use of powder ginger in different tajines. Olive oil is also a characteristic of Moroccan Cuisine as it is the case of all the Mediterranean cuisines.
Moroccan Vegetable and Chickpeas Couscous
The recipe is similar to the Colorful Baked chicken couscous posted earlier,this time I stewed just vegetables and chickpeas.
Traditional preparation of couscous can be time consuming ,a special food steamer called "kiskas" is used,in which the vegetables and meat are cooked in the bottom pot while the couscous steams on top,yielding the most flavorful couscous.Whereas the quick cooking couscous ,lot like pasta ,is cooked separately then mixed with spiced vegetables,herbs and chickpeas.
1 lb Whole grain Couscous
1 big carrot,chopped or diced
1 small Zucchini,chopped
1 small squash,chopped diced
1 cup each of broccoli and cauliflower florets
1 small bell pepper,chopped
1 plum red tomato,finely chopped
1 medium onion,finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley and cilantro,chopped
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1/2 teaspoon each of fresh minced garlic and ginger
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne or chili powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Heat a large pan on medium heat,saute the onions in oil until translucent.Add all the spices and saute for a minute or two before adding the vegetables.Cover and cook until vegetables are tender.Stir in the cooked chick peas towards the end of cooking process.Cook for another minute or two.
Cook the couscous as per the package directions.Fluff with the fork.
To serve either mix the couscous in the vegetables or layer the vegetables over the bed of couscous.I like to garnish with fresh parsley and tomato rose.
Best Wishes for 2010!
Warm wishes of peace and prosperity for the new year ahead to all the viewers.