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Couscous royal is a North African dish made of semolina and is traditionally served with various meats and vegetables. Chef Pierre Khodja was born in Algeria and grew up in Marseille. He is renowned for his Mediterranean and North African food. Find him at Camus in Melbourne. 






Skill level

Average: 1.8 (108 votes)


Ras el-hanout

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves

Onion jam

  • 4 white onions, sliced
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup honey


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1kg lamb shoulder, cubed


  • 6 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 merguez lamb sausages (Moroccan lamb sausage)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 6 carrots, diced 1 inch
  • 4 turnips, diced 1 inch
  • 500 g meatballs
  • 500 g garbanzo beans
  • 3 zucchinis, diced 1 inch
  • Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 cups couscous, cooked according to package directions

Cook's notes

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.


To make the onion jam, sauté the onions on a low heat for 20 minutes until caramelised, add raisins and honey, season with salt.

To make the ras el-hanout mix, combine all of the spices together. 

Heat oil and brown the lamb cubes, remove from pan. In the same pan, brown the chicken drumsticks and remove.

Sauté the onion and garlic and add ras el-hanout spice mix, stirring for 2 minutes.

Add the lamb and tomato paste and cover with water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce to a low heat and simmer for 60 minutes.

Add carrots and turnips and cook for another 30 minutes.

Add the chicken, meatballs, garbanzo beans, zucchinis and parsley and cook for another 30 minutes.

Serve the stew with a side of couscous and onion jam.