Try this exotic couscous recipe for the post-Passover / post-Pesach Moroccan-Jewish festival of Mimouna (also spelled: Mimuna, Mimounah, Mimunah, Maimouna, and Maimounah). Many couscous recipes exist among the Jews of Morocco and Moroccans in general, but any given Moroccan couscous recipe will be a combination of grains made from semolina that is traditionally served under a vegetable stew or a meat stew.

Couscous is the primary staple food of the Maghreban countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya), and in Eastern Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya, it is simply known as "Ta'aam", meaning "food" in Maghreban Arabic. The word "couscous" itself derives from the Maghreban Arabic word "kuskusu", which in turn is from the Tamazight word "seksu" ("Tamazight" is the name for the group of Berber languages spoken by the Berbers who live throughout the Maghreban countries).

The following couscous recipe is a very aromatic version which will give you a taste of the mixture of exotic flavors that permeate Moroccan-Jewish cooking and Maghreban cooking in general!

Aromatic Couscous Recipe

4 cups chicken stock
Pinch saffron threads
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped, or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
Dash of ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Olive oil as needed
1 1/2 cups onion, diced
8 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 cups couscous
1 cup Italian parsley, coarsely chopped

Instructions for the Aromatic Couscous recipe:

  1. Place stock and spices into large stockpot.
  2. Bring to boil.
  3. In another pan add oil, onions and garlic.
  4. Sauté until soft and browned.
  5. Add onion and garlic mixture to water.
  6. Add couscous to stock.
  7. Turn heat off.
  8. Stir a little and cover.
  9. Add parsley.
  10. Let stand until liquid is completely absorbed.
  11. Break up couscous with fork when ready to serve.

Serves 6.

Cook's note: If you would prefer the most authentic dish, try to find couscous that is commercially "rolled" but not precooked.

Nutrition Values Per Serving: Calories: 300; Fat: 8 grams; Carbohydrates: 48 grams; Fiber: 4 grams; Protein: 9 grams; Cholesterol: 3 milligrams; Sodium: 680 milligrams.

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