Tunisian Pepper and Potato Couscous

Recipe By : Deborah Madison
Serving Size : 6


⅓ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced in ½ inch squares
1 ½ teaspoons dried mint
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and sliced lengthways
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed if canned
5 bell peppers, sliced 1-inch thick
4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 ½ cups couscous
⅓ cup harissa
3 tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. In a wide skillet with 2 inch sides, heat ⅓ cup oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, mint, pepper flakes, potatoes, tomato paste, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, then add the chickpeas, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and the peppers.
  3. Raise the heat and saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes and 3 cups water, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. When done, remove 2 cups of the liquid for the couscous and set the vegetables aside.
  5. Heat the reserved broth and stir in a teaspoon of the harissa.
  6. Warm the 2 tablespoons oil in a wide pot over a medium-high heat. Add the couscous and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat and pour in the broth – it will instantly bubble up. When it subsides, shake the pan to even the contents, then cover and set aside for 7 minutes.
  8. Fluff the grains with a fork, spoon half cup water over them, and cover again for 5 minutes.
  9. Garnish with parsley and serve remaining harissa on the side.

Cuisine: “Vegetarian”
Copyright: “1997”
Ratings Out of 10: Jesse 8, John 8, Lynn 7
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NOTES :I had to use general purpose vegetable oil the first time and it was fine. Also used Zarbo Harissa marinade (which is runny rather than a paste) and it worked perfectly too.

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