Moroccan Couscous with Vegetables

Couscous salads are rather relatively novel. Couscous in Morocco is not traditionally made as a salad but as meal, complete with vegetables and meat. Every Friday Moroccan households prepare a couscous, typically with chicken or beef and seven different vegetables patiently prepared in a couscoussier and colorfully plated in a gassaa, a large clay dish. Don’t ask me why exactly seven vegetables because I don’t know. It has always been this way and most people have it an entire lifetime without questioning why. It’s one of those things you simply take as self- evident.

In my book, I shared a kesksou bi sebaa khodar recipe (couscous with seven vegetables), but unlike the more industrious women of my country, I reserve it for very special occasions. This recipe is a rather more economical version of it that’s meatless and uses fewer vegetables. It is delicious nonetheless.

Couscous with Vegetables

2 servings as a main dish, 4 servings as a side

For the stew
1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and halved crosswise
3 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup raisins
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground chili powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
6 sprigs parsley
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water

1/2 cup cooked chickpeas (optional)


For the couscous
1 cup instant couscous
1 cup boiling water
1/4 teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon butter

Place all of the ingredients for the stew except the zucchini and raisins in a medium pot over medium heat. Cover with a lid and cook 10 minutes. Add the zucchini and raisins (and chickpeas, if using), cover and cook another 10 minutes. Discard the parsley.

Prepare the couscous by pouring the boiling water over couscous in a large bowl. Stir in the salt and butter.Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Arrange the couscous in a dome on the serving plate. Place the vegetables on the couscous. Top with the raisins and sauce.

Serve immediately.

Other couscous recipes:
Couscous Stuffing
Couscous Salad with Almonds and Raisins
Couscous Salad with Cranberries and Pine Nuts
Fish Balls in Tomato Sauce with Couscous


19 Responses to “Moroccan Couscous with Vegetables”

  1. 1

    My Little Space — 01/24/2011 @ 2:49 pm

    What a nice simple dish! Loving it. Thanks for sharing, Nisrine. Hope you're having a great day.
    Cheers, Kristy

  2. 2

    My Little Expat Kitchen — 01/24/2011 @ 4:29 pm

    Couscoussier, what a word. I just love it.
    This dish looks great Nisrine!

  3. 3

    Bridgett — 01/24/2011 @ 10:16 pm

    Now this is a gorgeous vegetable dish. I just received a cookbook for my birthday with Moroccan dishes and I love the use of couscous and loads of vegetables with the cumin, chili and ginger flavors all melded together. This is going on my list of new things to try and experiment with new flavors. I can't wait to get started and thank you for the inspiration!

  4. 4

    Jennifurla — 01/24/2011 @ 10:43 pm

    what a lovely meal, I love cooking with couscous.

  5. 5

    SaraOneTribeGourmet — 01/25/2011 @ 12:38 am

    I had this same dish in Morocco! Love it! great tasty way to eat healthy! Thanks for sharing! :)

  6. 6

    Cristina — 01/25/2011 @ 2:16 am

    Thank you for sharing this lovely dish. I brought some couscous home from the market last week and am looking forward to trying it (both tasting and making). A very timely post for me! ;)

  7. 7

    Juliana — 01/25/2011 @ 4:32 am

    What a great dish with couscous…love the idea of all the veggies and the spices :-)

  8. 8

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — 01/25/2011 @ 11:09 am

    One of my favorite dishes! I like that this streamlined version makes it quick and easy to prepare.

  9. 9

    Kulsum@JourneyKitchen — 01/25/2011 @ 11:51 am

    I was planning to make chicken couscous today and now that I have seen this I'm making it vegetarian! Yay!

  10. 10

    Joanne — 01/25/2011 @ 12:58 pm

    I love the sound of this and I am definitely going to have to make it soon! All of those veggies…you know how to appeal to my taste buds!

  11. 11

    Bryan — 01/25/2011 @ 2:41 pm

    Looks great Nisrine! I love couscous what a great dish, thanks for making it simpler.

  12. 12

    From the Kitchen — 01/25/2011 @ 4:59 pm

    How fortunate that I came to your blog while making out a grocery list! This looks and sounds delicious. We enjoy couscous often and I'm so happy to now have this recipe.


  13. 13

    A Canadian Foodie — 01/25/2011 @ 5:11 pm

    Simple, delicious, nutritious and economical. Again, you are singing my song. This is on the list. The pictures are mouthwatering!

  14. 14

    Dimah — 01/25/2011 @ 6:25 pm

    wow this looks wonderful and so colorful!
    Thanks for the recipe!!

  15. 15

    blackbookkitchendiaries — 01/25/2011 @ 9:59 pm

    such lovely flavors! and it looks very beautiful:)

  16. 16

    Couscous & Consciousness — 01/25/2011 @ 10:43 pm

    Yum – I love couscous, and this looks like a beautifully simple yet tasty presentation. Especially love the idea of the zucchini and raisins. The seven vegetables is interesting – perhaps if it is a dish which is eaten once a week, there are 7 vegetables for 7 days of the week? Would be interesting to know.
    Sue :-)

  17. 17

    Rhubarb Recipes at Rhubarb Central — 01/26/2011 @ 1:55 am

    I have never heard of this dish before! Nice blog…and WEBSITE!
    Wish I was in Orlando Florida…our favourite vacation spot!!
    It sure is cold here in Canada! *jealous*
    Your photography is equally amazing!

  18. 18

    Anna Johnston — 01/26/2011 @ 4:02 am

    What a stunning little dish, so flavourfull. Love that your a Couscoussier!!!

  19. 19

    Happy Cook — 02/27/2011 @ 6:56 pm

    I am glad I got to know your blog, I have been looking to few of your recipes and i love it.
    The only way I have made ciuscous withvegetables is from a tin and heat it up I am sure gonna try this recipe .

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