You can serve this as a side dish with barbecued lamb, but it’s also delicious on its own – just add a dollop of Greek yoghurt. Grilling the tomatoes adds a wonderful intensity of flavour to this Moroccan couscous recipe.
- 90 ml olive oil
- 2 large onions, sliced into 2 mm–thick rings (400 g net)
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ tsp ras el hanout
- 1¼ tsp salt
- ¾ tsp pepper
- 60 g golden raisins or sultanas
- 600 g cherry tomatoes
- 500 g couscous
- 800 ml boiling water
- 25 g unsalted butter, cut into 3 cm dice
- 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 80 g toasted almonds, roughly chopped
- 25 g rocket, roughly chopped
- 20 g coriander, roughly chopped
- 20 g parsley, roughly chopped
- 20 g mint, roughly torn
- 1½ tbsp lemon juice
- 1½ tbsp argan oil (or olive oil, if unavailable)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time 10 minutes
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Heat a medium sauté pan on medium–high heat. Add 30 ml of the olive oil, and the onion, honey, ras el hanout, ¼ tsp of the salt, and ¼ tsp of the pepper. Cook for 15–30 minutes, or until onion is soft, dark brown and sweet. Remove from the heat, stir in the raisins or sultanas, and set aside.
Heat a chargrill (ridged griddle) pan on high heat until piping hot. Mix the tomatoes with 30 ml of the oil and cook on hot pan, turning occasionally, for about 4 minutes, or until skin is slightly charred and flesh is soft. Set aside.
Line the base and sides of a 20 cm x 30 cm roasting pan with baking paper. Add the couscous and ½ tsp of the salt. Pour over the boiling water and 30 ml of the olive oil. Stir, cover with foil and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Dot soaked couscous with the butter cubes, cover with foil again and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and fluff up with a fork. Allow to cool.
Once the couscous has cooled, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the onion and raisin mixture and stir. Add the cumin seeds, garlic, almonds, rocket and most of the herbs, reserving a little to serve. Finally add the lemon juice, ½ tsp of the salt and ½ tsp of the pepper, and mix gently.
Gradually transfer the couscous to a serving platter, scattering with the cherry tomatoes as you go. Finish with a scattering of herbs and a drizzle of argan oil.