Algerian Couscous

A version of this recipe is made in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia, though it usually includes lamb or chicken. This is a vegetarian, simplified way of making this normally time-consuming meal. I made it with instant couscous, which may not be traditional but sure is faster!

Serves 3-4

What you need:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp anise
1/2 tsp mint
1 tsp salt
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans
4 1/2 cups water

for the couscous
1 1/4 cups instant couscous
2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1.5 tbsp margarine

In a large pan, sauté the onion, garlic, and spices in the 2 tbsp olive oil for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add the chopped vegetables and sauté for another 10 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, chickpeas, and 4 1/2 cups water and keep on high heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.

While the vegetables are cooking, make the couscous. In a pot, add the 2 1/2 cups water, vegetable oil, and salt. Bring the water to a boil and remove from heat. Add couscous to hot water and cover for 5 minutes. Return the couscous to high heat and stir in margarine for 3 minutes or until it has reached a dry, fluffy consistency.

Serve the vegetables and couscous separately or mix together.


  1. there is a way to cook authentic couscous without having to steam it three times. wash it, i mean cover it with cold water, move it around, dump out the water and repeat it two more times. cover with a towel and let it sit for until fluffed up, you can steam it for few minutes to make it hot, and that's it! it tastes much better than that instant couscous without all the steaming.

  2. Hey Jen,

    Do you have a good recipe for making authentic couscous? Maybe you can add it on here?


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