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For four people, you'll need:

> 500g lean lamb, cubed
> 2 onions, chopped
> 2 garlic cloves, crushed
> pinch saffron threads
> 1tsp ground cinnamon
> 1/2tsp paprika
> 1 fresh red chili, deseeded and chopped
> 1/2tsp ground dry ginger
> 250g carrots, quartered lengthways
> 250g small turnips, quartered
> 250g celeriac, cubed
> 500g couscous
> 2tsp olive oil or argane oil
> 250g courgettes, quartered lengthways
> 4 tomatoes, skinned and quartered
> bunch coriander, chopped
> bunch parsley, chopped
> 40g butter
> salt and pepper

 

First cook the lamb. Put it into a pan with 900ml water or stock, onions, garlic, saffron, cinnamon, paprika, chili, ginger and salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, skim and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

 

Add the carrots, turnips and celeriac and continue to simmer for 15 minutes.

 

In a large bowl, drizzle the oil over the couscous with 300ml water, stir and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Add another 300ml water and separate the grains with a fork. Leave to stand for another 10 minutes. Put into a steamer or sieve over boiling water and steam uncovered for about 10 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, add the courgettes, tomatoes, coriander and parsley and cook for around 5 minutes until the lamb and vegetables are tender.

 

Fork through the couscous to separate the grains and turn onto a large, warmed serving plate. Dot with butter and season. Form into a mound with a well in the centre, and, using a slotted spoon, place the lamb and vegetables into the well. Pour some cooking liquid over, and serve the rest separately in a warmed bowl.


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These days we usually buy ready-cooked couscous in packets from the supermarket, but there are parts of Morocco where it is still hand-rolled by village women and the difference in taste is remarkable. This is the 'real thing'.

 

Moroccan Couscous

Cynthia Berning, a US Peace Corps volunteer, has been working with a women's association in the small mud village of Khoukhate, some 130km south of Fez in the Middle Atlas, with the aim

of bringing back an appreciation for the art - and taste - of hand-rolled couscous.

"The majority of women and girls [in the village] are still illiterate and thus have few opportunities to contribute financially to providing for their families", explains Cynthia.

"Enter the Association ENNAHDA ('rebirth' in Arabic), an association with the goal of increasing the standard of living for all residents of Khoukhate through the creation of employment for the women of the village."


When the operation started two years ago, it was limited to couscous production. But the business has now grown to include jams made from locally-grown fruit - fig, apple, apricot, orange, carrot and watermelon, there's herb-infused olive oil, almond butter, and the Moroccan high-energy snack 'zmita'. All the products are marketed under the name 'El Karma', which is Moroccan Arabic for fig tree, and is also the name of the natural spring in the village.

 Moroccan Couscous

Now the association has an eco-tourism project where groups of visitors are welcomed to Khoukhate to learn the secrets of a good Moroccan couscous, and at the same time experience traditional rural life. Visitors roll their own couscous from scratch with the local women, and then cook it and eat it for lunch.

Source:  riadzany.blogspot.com   {the view from Fez}

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01.05.2016 (01.05.2016)
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LevelIntermediate
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