Spicy chickpea couscous

A fruity Moroccan-inspired dish that uses exotic spices.


  • 225g (8oz) couscous
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • quarter cucumber
  • 4 spring onions (scallions)
  • 410g can chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons unsaturated oil, eg rapeseed, sunflower or corn oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 50g (2oz) sultanas
  • 3 tablespoons fresh coriander (optional)
  • black pepper
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  1. Cook the couscous according to the packet instructions but do not add any butter.
  2. Peel and crush or finely chop the garlic, peel and finely chop the onion, wash and chop the tomatoes, cucumber and scallions. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Wash and finely chop the coriander (if using).
  3. Heat a small saucepan and add the coriander seeds and cumin seeds. Cover over a high heat until the seeds begin to pop. Be careful not to let the spices burn.
  4. Remove from the heat, add the cinnamon and allow to cool. Place the spices in a food bag and wrap in a tea towel. With a rolling pin, crush the spices until they form a fine powder.
  5. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion. Cook over a low heat for 7–8 minutes until softened and lightly browned.
  6. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Stir in the roasted and grounded spices, turmeric and cayenne pepper, and cook for a further minute.
  7. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  8. Add this mixture to the couscous and mix well together, ensuring that all of the grains are well coated.
  9. Add the sultanas, tomatoes, cucumber, spring onions, chickpeas and chopped coriander (if using). Season with pepper and mix well. Allow to cool and serve.
Preparation time:
15 minutes
Cooking time:
15 minutes