Tunisian Couscous With Fenel And Cilantro........Totally Vegetarian And A Fantastic Meal By Itself.

File:Couscous of Fes.JPG
Vegetable Couscous Courtesy Of Wikipedia On Google
This is one dish I will never be able to cook myself...Maria, during our stay in Sfax, Tunisia (1981 - 1985), learned first hand how to cook it from the Tunisian ladies in our oilfield community...Yep! 30 years ago. All I know is that Maria really knows how to cook this version of the Couscous, and the standard ones with the chickpeas, lamb / fish / chicken / beef / and the various vegetables.

For this recipe, which I am certain you will like, you will need:
Serves 4 - 6
-  500 gms of medium Couscous.
-  200 gms of fresh cilantro (fresh coriander) very finely cut.
-  200 gms of fresh fenel ( looks like dill but it is not) very finely cut.(Maratho in Greek, bessbess in Tunisian Arabic).
For the sauce:
-  2 medium onions chopped.
-  8 cloves of garlic chopped very finely.
-  500 gms of grated tomato with juice.
-  1 tsp. tomato paste.
-  3/4 cup olive oil.
-  1 tsp. cayenne pepper.
-  1 vegetable bouillon cube.
-  Salt and freshly ground pepper
-  2 Tbsp. freshly ground coriander (tabel in Tunisian Arabic, kouzbara in Egyptian Arabic, cóliandros in Greek).
For the couscous:
-  In a bowl add   one cup of cold water to the 500 gms of couscous.  Mix well and let stand for 20 minutes. After the time elapses you will see that the couscous has clustered and dried and is not as free flowing as when coming out of the box.
-  Put the Couscousière on the fire to boil 1 liter of water.  When the water boils, add to the upper part of the Couscousière the fresh coriander (cilantro) and the fresh fenel.

On The Right Is The Couscousière.
Bottom Part Is The Pot,
Upper Part Is The Collander With Cover.
Mixture Of The Herbs.
200 gms Fenel
200 gms Cilantro
(Well Washed)

-  When you see the water inside the pot getting green (about 20 minutes) add the couscous on top of the aromatic herbs.
-  Cook for about 20 minutes.
-  When time is up, transfer the couscous with the herbs into a very deep and large bowl.
-  Using two long wooden spoons mix the fenel, cilandtro and couscous very well so that the herbs get evenly dispersed all through the couscous.
Mix Couscous, Fenel And Cilantro Very Well To
Get Proper Dispersion Of The Herbs.
Must Not Have Clusters Of Herbs.
End of Part I.
For the coriander sauce:
-  In a small saucepan add oil, onions and stir fry till the onions are soft.  Add the dry ground coriander with the garlic and continue stir frying till you obtain that wonderful aroma of the total mixture (2 -3 minutes).
-  Add the cayenne pepper, the bouillon cube, the tomato paste  and stir till cube dissolves.
-  Add some hot water, stir, then add the 500 gms of warmed up grated tomato.
-  Bring to a slow boil, do not cover and simmer till oil separates from the sauce (about 10 minutes). Cover and let stand until the sauce is luke warm.
End of Part II.
-  The final step is to add the luke warm sauce to the, warm couscous and mix very well with two wooden spoons making sure that the sauce has coated all the couscous granules.

Add The Sauce To The Couscous, Then Mix Very Well
To Coat All Couscous Granules (one by one lol).
Nearly Ready Do You See The White Spot Below
The Spoon

Can Be Eaten Alone Or As A Side D


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