The appearance of some live forms of protein was no deterrent. It had cost good money, and it had to be used, so this was what I made with the last of my last batch of couscous.
I now have another batch of two big packets. It made its way here last January, a year and a month ago. I finally managed to inaugurate it last week. Along with that batch of couscous came a batch of other Mediterranean delights, which included sumac, thyme mix, zatar and orange flower water. I've used some of them on and off in the past year, the last is waiting to be opened. When that momentous occasion occurs, you, dear readers, will be the first to know.
Some chickpeas were waiting to be used up; so was a pack of commercial tomato puree. (I don't remember why I bought it, as I don't like it.) I thought I need to make a beginning on the couscous before it attracted life again, so out of the first 2 lb packet I had, I used half a cup.
I cooked this couscous by following the instructions on the other couscous packet, substituting plain water for stock, so I suggest you just follow the pack instructions if you make this dish. (Why didn't I do as I say? The pack I used didn't have instructions.) I had made savoury couscous just once before - it was bigger, and while the sauce used some of the same ingredients, the spices added to it made it very different so it was a new venture all over again for me.
Here's how you make the sauce:
Tomato puree: 200 ml (or just a little short of 1 cup)
Chickpeas/channa: 1 cup, soaked overnight, drained, washed, (pressure) cooked
Green thyme mix: 2-3 tbsp (Mine contains thyme, coriander, cumin, anise, fennel, sesame and salt)
Onion: 1, sliced
Garlic: 5 cloves, sliced
Olive Oil (EVOO): 1 tbsp
Heat the olive oil gently.
Add the onion and garlic and sweat them lightly.
Now add the tomato puree and 2 tbsp of the spice mix.
Mix well, keep stirring till well mixed.
*Taste. The spice mix already contains salt so make sure the sauce isn't salty, or overpoweringly spicy.
Depending on this, add salt, and more of the spice mix if you like.
Add the chickpeas and let it cook on simmer till it absorbs the flavours.
Now, I have some news for you. As if work, reading, this blog, a year-round photo-a-day project, insomnia and other businesses aren't enough, I've volunteered to collaborate on a group blog, The Great Vega'N Vegetarian Project. The initiative of Cynthia at Tastes Like Home, this blog was born out of her realisation that much of the food we cook is naturally vegan and vegetarian, and often, unconsciously so. As most of the food that I cook routinely (and does not make it to this blog) falls into that category, I will write about it there.
I'm sending this couscous and the chickpeas off to Presto Pasta Nights hosted this week for Ruth by Mrs Ergul - Passion for Life and Food as well as My Legume Love Affair hosted for Susan by The Cripsy Cook.
Presto Pasta Nights Couscous chickpeas Vegan