Spiced pearl couscous with chickpeas & egg

Photo: Ruth Barry

This is inspired by a dish my mother-in-law made for me. It’s a quick cook supper, on the table in under half an hour, and not too heavy on the washing up. It makes a hearty main dish on its own, but it would work equally well as a side dish or as part of a salad table. I served it recently with some very creamy mozzarella, but could imagine some roasted veg or something green pairing well with it too.

Photo: Ruth Barry

Spiced pearl couscous with chickpeas and egg

Serves two (and a toddler!) generously 

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (12.5 grams)
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (Ceylon variety preferably)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup pearl couscous 
  • 1 ½ cups water 
  • 220 grams cooked chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped

Add three tablespoons of the olive oil and the tablespoon of butter to a medium cooking pot. Set over a medium heat. Add the diced onion and half a teaspoon of fine salt and cook, covered and stirring occasionally, for five minutes, or until the onion is soft. Stir in the cinnamon, cumin, and allspice, and cook for another minute. 

Add the pearl couscous to the onions and stir to coat in the oil. Cook for four-five minutes to gently toast the couscous. Add the water and stir, bring to the boil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, and cook the couscous for seven-eight minutes. At the end of the cooking time, allow the pot to sit off the heat, still covered, for a further five minutes.

While the couscous cooks, add the remaining two tablespoons of oil to a small frying pan and set over a medium heat. Add the chickpeas and ¼ teaspoon of salt and sauté until the chickpeas have browned and are slightly crisp. 

Once the couscous is cooked and the chickpeas have crisped, add the chickpeas, parsley, mint, dill, and chopped boiled eggs to the couscous and stir to combine. Serve immediately or allow to come to room temperature. 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *