Rating: 4.63 stars
38 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 29
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0

This is a spicy couscous recipe for the winter months from far in the Arctic north!

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Recipe Summary test

prep:
10 mins
cook:
20 mins
total:
30 mins
Servings:
2
Yield:
2 servings
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Ingredients

2
Original recipe yields 2 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and saute onion until tender. Season with anise pods and salt. Mix in garlic, red bell pepper, dried hot red peppers, and black pepper. Continue to cook and stir until vegetables are tender.

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  • Stir mushrooms and lemon juice into the vegetable mixture. Mix in dates and cinnamon, and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.

  • Place couscous in a medium saucepan, and cover with vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover, and simmer 3 to 5 minutes, until all moisture has been absorbed.

  • Fluff couscous with a fork, mix into the vegetables, and serve.

Nutrition Facts

594 calories; protein 18g; carbohydrates 111.9g; fat 10.6g; sodium 314.5mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (39)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
08/05/2008
This was fantastic! However I made a couple of substitutions for personal taste and convenience. I used 2 whole fresh chilies (about 3 inches long) in place of the dried ones and substituted zucchini for the mushrooms for some additional nutrition (and also because zucchini is what I had on hand). In the final step I added the vegetable stock directly to the veggie mixture brought to a slow boil added the couscous covered the pan removed it from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. It looked beautiful and tasted magnificent! Read More
(24)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
01/19/2011
For the most part this is a great site and I have gotten many great recipes from it. That being said there are a small number of recipes this one included where not only do I not understand how it achieved 5 stars but I literally cannot fathom how ANYONE would give this 5 stars. My father and I made it EXACTLY as written (we even went to a Chinese market to buy star anise). What does it taste like? It tastes like couscous with onions and mushrooms and a little sweetness. Nothing interesting about it and you couldn't taste the dates the star anise or the vegetable stock. It was alot of trouble for a bland dinner. One more thing star anise pods become like little pieces of plastic floating around in the dish and they are almost impossible to pick out until you have the unfortunate occasion to bite into one. The only reason I'm giving this 2 stars instead of 1 is because I do like couscous with onions and mushrooms:) Read More
(3)
38 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 29
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
08/05/2008
This was fantastic! However I made a couple of substitutions for personal taste and convenience. I used 2 whole fresh chilies (about 3 inches long) in place of the dried ones and substituted zucchini for the mushrooms for some additional nutrition (and also because zucchini is what I had on hand). In the final step I added the vegetable stock directly to the veggie mixture brought to a slow boil added the couscous covered the pan removed it from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. It looked beautiful and tasted magnificent! Read More
(24)
Rating: 5 stars
02/02/2007
This has fast become one of my favorite dishes...so delicious. I serve it with a roasted sweet potatoe. If you cannot tolerate very spicy foods then lessen the dried pepper to what you feel you can handle. It comes out very spicy. I used crimini mushrooms they are meatier then the white button. I'd give this 6 stars if I could. Read More
(18)
Rating: 5 stars
04/19/2007
amazing dish! I would also say in regards to the previous rating that I would give this a 6 star rating if I could. I did change something important though. I didn't have any anise on hand so I used a small amount of coursely chopped fennel seeds instead. I haven't had it with the anise but with the fennel it was grand. This is also a recipe that can be made ahead of time and quickly reheated in the oven. Watch the time on the covered simmering couscous it barely takes the 3 min. Read More
(11)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/15/2010
Substituted some red curry paste for chilies and added a zucchini and a can of kidney beans. Left out the lemon juice and pepper (personal preferences.) It was wonderful! Tip: Cut the dates lengthwise to remove pits easily before chopping. Don't forget to remove the star anise pods before eating. More vegetable broth may be needed to get the couscous consistency you desire. Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
09/10/2010
Really liked this - it was a good blend of spicy and sweet. Like others have done I added 1 zucchini. I would also increase the amount of dates the next time I make it. Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
11/09/2010
"A food so nice they named it twice!":) The rave reviews for this dish initially sold me. I gave the couscous a whirl and was in awe of the superb mix of flavors. It reminds me of a Southern Mexico stew that combines many of the same flavors- cinnamon anise hot peppers dates (they also add boiled eggs and potatoes!). The sugar from the dates nicely caramelized the rest of the veggies near the end of the cooking process. The warming spices are perfect for the coming cold months! Read More
(6)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/28/2006
This was great...I first thought the lemon juice would make it too tart but it didn't. I used raisns because I was out of dates which I am sure changed the flavor quite a bit. Star anise is essential in this recipe. I think the same method would work well with bulgar or even long-grain rice. Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
09/20/2010
Fantastic recipe. I just use Clic brand couscous spices and a little bit of chili paste instead of assembling the spices on this list. Very versatile; you can use any vegetables you might have in the fridge. Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
01/24/2011
This was really really good but I had to make some substitutions because of ingredients I didn't have. I used scant 1/2 tsp anise powder instead of the pods about a tsp salt 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic 1 whole red bell pepper chopped just a pinch of black pepper 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms (they really do give it a wonderful flavor) 1/3 cup chopped dates and used chicken stock instead of vegetable. I also used about a tsp Sriracha hot sauce instead of the dried pepper because I couldn't find any and it gave it just the right amount of spice. I also had to add about 2 more T of oil after adding the mushrooms etc because it would have been too dry. YUM edit by the way this makes around 4 servings not 2! Read More
(6)
Rating: 2 stars
01/19/2011
For the most part this is a great site and I have gotten many great recipes from it. That being said there are a small number of recipes this one included where not only do I not understand how it achieved 5 stars but I literally cannot fathom how ANYONE would give this 5 stars. My father and I made it EXACTLY as written (we even went to a Chinese market to buy star anise). What does it taste like? It tastes like couscous with onions and mushrooms and a little sweetness. Nothing interesting about it and you couldn't taste the dates the star anise or the vegetable stock. It was alot of trouble for a bland dinner. One more thing star anise pods become like little pieces of plastic floating around in the dish and they are almost impossible to pick out until you have the unfortunate occasion to bite into one. The only reason I'm giving this 2 stars instead of 1 is because I do like couscous with onions and mushrooms:) Read More
(3)