Chickpea, Carrot and Couscous Dish with Pomegranates

I traveled to Bali recently – and I have to let you all know that it’s one of the best places to visit to eat! There are umpteen options for vegetarians and if you are a foodie, then Bali is surely going to be on your repeat list. This recipe is an adaptation of a dish that I had during one of my meals. It is inspired by Moroccan cuisine which plays with and balances sweet and savory flavours with the spices used to season them. Personally, I always wanted to try making a dish with couscous, and I am glad I managed that through this dish. I added some ingredients and made it to my liking. I must say this has been one of the most wholesome and fulfilling recipes of mine. I remembered the taste of the dish and tried to build it stage-wise which was an interesting process in my cooking journey. The texture of couscous is like semolina and the dry roasting process for both of them is identical. This dish is very easy to make, healthy and a welcome change from a boring salad. It is quite filling, ingredients can be added and the dish can always be evolved to suit your liking. I hope you enjoy trying it and do let me know on the outcome as I would be happy to read about it 🙂

Recipe Details :
Serves: 2-3 pax
Time: 40 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 3 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 tsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely crushed (Or you can use 1/2 a can of tomato puree)
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 pomegranate, deseeded
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves for garnish
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste (optional)
  • 1.5 cups water

Method:


    Pomegranate layer at the bottom

    Pomegranate layer at the bottom

  • Take a pasta bowl or a broad dish and place the pomegranate seeds as the bottom-most layer. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to the seeds and set it aside – preferably in the fridge.
  • Place a pan on medium heat, add oil and the cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds splutter, add the ginger, garlic, cinnamon and onion. Once the onion turns translucent, lower the flame, add the carrots. Add some salt, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes.
  • Once the carrots are done, add the chickpeas and tomato puree. Also add 1 cup water. Stir well, add some salt and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Couscous - middle layer

    Couscous – middle layer

  • Simultaneously start dry roasting the couscous on a medium flame in a separate pan. The couscous will start to turn golden brown in 5 mins and you will also get a slight fragrance. Now add 1.5 cups water and let it boil on a low flame so that the couscous fluffs up. Switch off the flame and set it aside for 5 minutes before plating. This will form the layer above the pomegranate seeds.
  • Final dish

    Final dish

  • By now, the carrots and chickpeas part of the dish would also have been done. Remove that from the flame and plate it on top of the couscous layer. Garnish with coriander leaves and this is going to be one tasty dish!

Tips:

  • While boiling the couscous, ensure that your water proportion is correct. To much water will make it mushy.
  • Let the couscous rest before you serve it. Once it has cooled slightly, you can fluff it with a fork.
  • If you do not have pomegranate, you can also use finely chopped dates.

Cucumber and Spring Onion Raita with Pomegranate Garnish

In my journey as a food blogger, this is my debut effort in a fun online food event – and it makes this recipe a little special. Dimple tagged me in this event and I decided to participate to celebrate the foodie spirit! Thank you Dimple 🙂 This event is being conducted on CAL (Chef at Large). The topic was accompaniments – more specifically to share a raita recipe of my choice. Raita is nothing but a yogurt based salad which contains vegetables or fruits of your choice. It works well with roti or rice and requires very little prep time. I could manage making it on a weekday :). Cucumbers are the most commonly used vegetables along with yogurt and I decided to stick with them. The fun came in choosing my other ingredients to match the cool cucumber and give it a nice spin. I chose spring onions to add more greens and spice. Finally, to play with the colours and natural sweetness, I added pomegranate seeds. If you try this combination, you are going to end up with a spoonful of healthy, crunchy and delicious meal accompaniment.

Recipe Details :
Serves: 3 pax
Time: 15 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 3 small cucumbers, peeled and cubed (small)
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp chaat masala (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Cucumber and spring onion raita

Cucumber and spring onion raita with pomegranate garnish


Method:

  • Take the yogurt in a bowl and whisk it till smooth.
  • Now add the red chilli powder, sugar, salt, coriander powder and chaat masala. Whisk it till the spices blend into the yogurt. Ensure that there are no lumps at the end of this stage.
  • Add the cucumbers and spring onions and gently stir into the yogurt. Garnish it with pomegranate seeds.
  • Refrigerate it for an hour before serving. Enjoy!

Tips :

  • Avoid using yogurt that is too sour in taste or extremely liquid in consistency.