Spiced Couscous with Almonds and Currants


This is a great side that is delicious with grilled chicken or lamb. If you add shredded chicken or a spicy sausage and sprinkle it with feta cheese, it’ll work as a main course.  For a vegan option, saute chunks of firm tofu in a spice mixture that picks up the Middle Eastern theme of this dish — cumin, coriander, turmeric.  We demoed this wonderful and rich-tasting dish, adapted here from our buddies at Fine Cooking, for our appearance on Fox5 News in Washington DC February 17, 2014.  Check out the link on the right.

2 T olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced (about ¾ cup)
½  t salt
2 t  ground cumin
1 t  ground coriander
½ t  ground turmeric
Pinch ground cinnamon
1¾ C homemade store-bought low salt chicken broth
¼ C dried currants
1 C couscous
1/3 C chopped fresh mint
¼ C slivered almonds, toasted
1 T fresh lemon juice; more to taste

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft, about 7 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cinnamon, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the broth, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add the currants, cover, remove the pan from the heat, and let sit for 10 minutes so the currants can plump.

Return the broth to a boil over high heat. Stir in the couscous and the remaining salt, cover, remove from the heat, and let sit for 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape a fork through the couscous to fluff it. Add the mint and almonds and stir them into the couscous with the fork. As you stir, sprinkle on the lemon juice to taste. Serve immediately.

nutrition information (per serving): Size : based on six servings; Calories (kcal): 210; Fat (g): 8; Fat Calories (kcal): 70; Saturated Fat (g): 1; Protein (g): 6; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5; Carbohydrates (g): 30; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 330; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 3;

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