Seven Vegetable Couscous

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We just got back from a trip to Morocco. I fell in love… with couscous! I made some today and it turned out really good.


  1. red onions, 2 medium
  2. chicken, 1 small
  3. lemon, 1 large
  4. vegetables, 2lbs mixed (I used potato, zucchini, carrots, peas, olives in brine) Cut them in half lengthwise for a nicer presentation (I cut them too small this time)
  5. cabbage, 1/2 of a small one
  6. cilantro and parsley, handful of each
  7. ginger powder, 1 tsp
  8. cumin powder, 1 tsp
  9. turmeric powder, 1 tsp
  10. salt, 1 tsp (or more to taste)
  11. garlic, cloves of one head peeled and crushed
  12. olive oil, 3 tbsp
  13. water for boiling and steaming
  14. couscous 2 cups (I will make 3 cups next time because the kids loved it)


I used a large dutch oven but you can use any large pot so long as it heats evenly because this dish is cooked on very low heat. After I heated the pot on high I turned it down to 2 for the chicken and 1 1/2 for the vegetables. I prefer to cook slowly on low heat when I use olive oil which tends to burn easily.

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Sweat the onions in 2 tbsp olive oil on low heat.

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I use a wooden spoon to smash the garlic pods. That way they don’t go flying around the kitchen.

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Wash the cilantro and parsley, remove sticks, and cut the large lemon in half.

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I don’t have a garlic press but I have a mortar and pestle. Either is fine. I add lemon juice in the mortar after the garlic is mashed up.

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Mix the garlic, lemon, turmeric, ginger powder, cumin, and salt. Rub into the chicken and let it sit for a few minutes.

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Add chicken to the now softened onions. Stir to get the chicken coated nicely with the oil and onions. Add enough water to cover the chicken.

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Cover and simmer on low heat until meat is tender.

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Wash and peel vegetables (scrape the carrots). Traditionally the vegetables are cut in half lengthwise but I cut them smaller.

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Once cut, potatoes should be kept in salt water or else they oxidize.

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Remove the cooked chicken from the sauce and put aside.

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The broth will be used for cooking the vegetables and then served with the couscous.

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Soak the couscous in water (I add about an inch over the top of the couscous. Leave for a few minutes and then fluff with a fork and add the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil.

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Steam the couscous for 10 minutes, return to bowl, fluff with a fork, add more water and leave to absorb. Then steam again for 25 minutes.

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Repeat the last step and steam another 10 minutes if you like the couscous more tender.

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While you wait… you may as well prepare a cup of Moroccan tea for yourself.

  1. I use a tsp of green tea (per tea glass) in a small teapot.
  2. Pour in boiling water
  3. and after a minute remove one glass of tea and put aside.
  4. Be careful not to swirl or stir the tea up to this point (it will make the tea cloudy)
  5. Add more water to the pot, swish it around (to wash the tea) and pour it out and discard.
  6. Put more hot water into the pot, add sugar, the first glass of tea and fresh mint to the teapot.

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Before pouring add fresh mint to the cup/glass too. With tea in hand… back to the business of couscous.

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Add vegetables to the broth in layers. First potatoes, then carrots, then zucchini, then cabbage and peas. Do not stir. Cook on low heat until tender. A few minutes before they are done, add olives to the mix.

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I don’t have a large round tray so I used my pasta bowl.

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Arrange the couscous in a ring. I really needed more couscous and will have to make 3 cups next time.

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Add the chicken to the center and arrange the vegetables around it on top of the couscous. Add the remaining lemon and chopped cilantro and parsley on top. Serve the broth on the side to be ladled over the couscous.

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I don’t use a lot of salt when I cook. There’s always some sea salt on the table for those who like more.

India Bazaar, West Palm Beach


When you go vegetarian, go Indian! So many choices and so many wonderful ways to satisfy the nutritional needs of your body. Yesterday as I was replenishing my stock of spices from my favorite store in West Palm Beach, I asked them if it would be ok to post about them. Yes, they said, it was fine and so I’m back with photos! And oh, btw, they do sell meat as well and it is very fresh and clean. I buy my ground chicken there for hubby who can’t eat other meats.

India Bazaar is at 4780 Okeechobee Blvd., in West Palm Beach. Run by a family, you will always be greeted with warmth and a smile.

Yesterday I bought okra (bhindi), Chinese okra or Ridge Gourd (torai), onions, bitter gourd/melon (karela), bottle gourd (loki), eggplant (baingan), and several spices including turmeric, star anise, cumin, cardamom, and some others. Their prices are great, the stuff is fresh and clean and smells good.

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Kashmiri Chai or Pink Tea

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This tea is a weekend and special occasion favorite in my family. It takes a little longer to make than most other teas but it’s so worth the effort. My aunts and my mother always made this tea for breakfast on days when there was a family gathering or a holiday when family and friends were expected. I’ve made this brew without nuts but it is typically made with slivered almonds and finely chopped pistachios.

I’m using a recipe here that after many trials and failed attempts turned out the way it’s supposed to! Although I had the recipe… not one but several from my aunts – each made a different way – this one turned out to my satisfaction.

This recipe makes four cups of tea.


  1. Green Tea – two tsp  (I prefer Gunpowder tea from the local Indian stores)
  2. Water – 2 cups to start the process and 2 cups of iced water to add later
  3. Baking Soda – two pinches or a fifth of a tsp
  4. Cardamom – 4 crushed
  5. Whole milk – 1 cup or more as desired
  6. Nuts (optional) – 2 tsp of crushed pistachio and 2 tsp


Bring two cups of water and two tsps of green tea to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes (I use a 3 setting on my electric stove)

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The tea will be slightly pink by now but not the red we want. Add the cold water slowly, the two pinches of baking soda, and the cardamom, and bring to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

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By now it should be turning red.

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Whisk the tea for 5 minutes. While you whisk you will see it turn a bright red.

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Strain the tea into a jug or another pan.

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Pour the tea back into the rinsed pan.

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In another pan bring the milk to boil and simmer for a few minutes.

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Pour the hot milk into the tea brew.

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Continue adding milk until you have a nice pink color. At this point you can add the nuts (slivered almonds and chopped pistachio to taste) and serve hot. This tea is traditionally served with salt but we add sweetener or sugar to taste.

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