Monday, December 19, 2011

Moroccan Chickpeas and Couscous

It's always exciting to experiment with new foods and flavors, so last week I tried a new Moroccan recipe. This recipe is originally from Cooking Light, but I made some alterations based on ingredients I had on hand. 


  • Although this recipe is exotic sounding, it is still a safe bet to serve to those with a little bit of an adventurous palate. I wouldn't recommend it to picky eaters, but it certainly is not too strange to serve for guests.
  • Cooking Light calls the recipe "Moroccan-style Lamb and Chickpeas" but I didn't have lamb on hand (nor were my husband and I eager to try it... yet!). Instead, I had some Trader Joe's turkey kielbasa already in the fridge, so I cut it into bite-sized pieces and used it in place of the ground lamb that the original recipe calls for. 
  • Using my beloved mortar and pestle I ground the coriander, which added an unusual but very tasty spice to the dish. Also, I didn't have cumin, so I used paprika.
  • I served this dish over couscous (from Trader Joes, where else?!) and made sure the soupy part soaked in to make it moist. Next time, I 'm going to try it over Israeli couscous for a bit more texture.

Here is Cooking Light's original recipe. Below reflects my changes/additions.

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)
Total: 40 minutes

8 ounces smoked turkey kielbasa, cut into bite-sized pieces 
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups vertically sliced onion
1/2 cup (1/4-inch) diagonally cut carrot
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin (or paprika) 
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup golden raisins
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon salt
(15 1/2-ounce can) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup couscous


  • 1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and carrot to pan; sauté 4 minutes. Add cumin, cinnamon, coriander, and pepper; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add kielbasa, broth, and next 5 ingredients (through chickpeas); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 4 minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in cilantro and lemon juice.
  • 2. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. 
  • 3. Divide couscous among plates and spoon 1 1/4 cup of chickpea stew on top of couscous. 

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