Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Couscous Paella

Clockwise from left: green pepper, red pepper (Do you like the straight-out-of-the-fridge matte finish on it?), leek, carrots, mushrooms, garlic


I made this Couscous dish the other day based on a recipe from a German book. Two main reasons that tempted me to try it out were:
a) I like cooking and experimenting with Couscous.
b) The quantity and combination of vegetables in the recipe appealed to me.

Making it was sure fun. So was photographing the colourful vegetables. However, the Couscous turned out to be way too bland for my taste. There aren't any spices listed in the recipe and I was aware of that. However, I thought that all those vegetables would lend their taste to the Couscous and make it tasty. I also added lots of Harissa paste, which was not mentioned in the recipe. My conclusion is that this dish needs many more spices. Although the book says that this dish can be had on its own for the main course, I now think that I shouldn't have believed it. Like I didn't trust the book when it asked for 500 grams of Couscous for 4 portions. (Now, portions are usually large in Germany. I never manage to finish mine when we eat out, although I have a large appetite.) So, I reduced the quantity of the Couscous by half to 250 grams. However, I did not scale down the quantity of the vegetables, because my husband and I like to have lots of vegetables in our food. Moreover, my husband has 'problems of a certain kind', if there is not enough fibre in the food. Oops, sorry, I was not supposed to write that. I hope, he does not read this post. ;-)

What I was saying is that this Couscous preparation cannot be had on its own. Hence, I prepared something to go with it, but only the following day, when we were finishing leftovers. (Yes, 250 grams still managed to make 4 portions. I can't imagine what I would have ended up with, had I used 500 grams, as asked in the recipe.) I'll blog about that 'something' in the next few days. Sorry, don't have the time for two posts right now.

Most important is, that this 'Paella' (I don't know why the book calls it that coz I don't see much of resemblance here.) is very good, if had with something spicy. Since it is loaded with vegetables, I would like to send it over to Cate for this week's ARF/5-A-Day event.

Here's the recipe for Couscous Paella

Serves 4.

Ingredients:

250 grams Couscous
One can of chopped tomatoes (The quantity is roughly 400 grams here in Europe.)
2 carrots
2 spring onions or one leek (I used the latter, as you can see in the picture.)
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper (Using 2 green peppers should be fine too.)
250 grams white/brown mushrooms (I used white ones.)
2-3 cloves of garlic (Corresponding quantity of readymade garlic paste should be ok.)
2 tbsp olive oil
Harissa paste to taste (Please add only a little first, check, and add more, if required.)
salt to taste

Method:

1. Take the Couscous into a large container or shallow dish. Sprinkle about ¼ liter of water on it and mix it with the Couscous using your fingers so that it spreads evenly all over. Let the Couscous rest for about half an hour, after which the grains will have fluffed up nicely and will have grown about three times in quntity.

In the glass container: Couscous half-risen after about 15 minutes of mixing with water

2. In the meanwhile, cut the leek/spring onions (white as well as green part) into roundels. Peel the carrots, if you like, although it is not always necessary. Just rubbing them hard while washing them suffices often. Cut them in 5cm. long sticks.

3. De-stem and de-seed the bell peppers. Cut them in long slices. Clean the mushrooms with a soft brush. (I have come to know only recently that you are not supposed to wash them. Does anybody of you know why? Please enlighten.) Cut the mushrooms in bite-sized slices.

4. If using fresh garlic, peel it and chop it fine. Open the can of tomatoes. ( I always happen to open the can in such a way that the tin sheet stays attached to the can in at least two places. And to think that I am otherwise quite good with other tools and gadgets in the house. Does anybody of you have this problem too? Or is it that I require a new can opener?)

5. Heat the oil in a wide pan or wok. Once it is hot, add the carrot sticks. Sauté them for two seconds so that they are coated with oil, then close the pan with a lid and cook the carrots for 4-5 minutes. Add a sprinking of water to the pan, if you see the carrots sticking to the bottom.

6. Now add the sliced mushrooms, sliced bell peppers and sliced leek/spring onions. Sauté all vegetables on high heat for 5 minutes while stirring them often. The vegetables should cook, but should still be rather crunchy.

Vegetables cooking in the pan

7. Add the garlic pieces/paste, canned tomatoes, Harissa paste and salt now. Mix thoroughly. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

8. Add the softened Couscous and again mix thoroughly. Cover the pan and cook for further 10 minutes. Stir the mixture occasionally while it is cooking.

Couscous Paella is ready when the vegetables are coated with cooked Coucous grains, like this.

Couscous Paella

Serve it on its own, if you don't mind it bland. I served it the first day like that, but it did not satisfy our taste buds. The following evening, I served it with a spicy preparation, and it was perfect. Watch this space for the recipe of that preparation. Bye for now!

19 comments:

shilpa said...

Thats a very interesting recipe. Thanks for sharing. Good that you try different kinds of food. I usually hesitate to cook anything otherthan Indian, because if I do, most of the time I have to eat it alone :(.

Nabeela said...

yes, you probably need a new can opener...:)
and about the mushrooms, some chefs say you can wash it...but only if you do so right before cooking...I guess they become soggy if washed in water...but they could have dirt on them..and we don't wanna eat that!! so i say go with the wash-before-you-cook thingy...

Neelu said...

Hey tht combo looks soo tempting.....BTW what is couscous ? What is it made of , hadent heard of it before.

Meghan said...

That looks really good -- how frustrating that it was bland! Do you suppose that a strong veggie stock used in place of the water would make much a difference in the flavour?

In regards to the mushrooms, my understanding is that it was long thought that they absorbed the water with which they were washed, thus adding more water to the dish and giving the wrong measurements if they were measured by weight. I've read a fair bit lately that discounts this and says that a quick wash is fine and that there's not enough water absorbed to make a difference unless you're soaking them. That said, I tend to just peel them quickly and cut off any nasty bits -- it seems more efficient, somehow.

Vaishali said...

Shilpa, I try to use unknown ingredients quite often. However, a decent product comes out only rarely. :)

Thanks for the info on mushrooms, Nabeela. I appreciate it.

Neelu, just visit the link by clicking on Couscous in this post and you will know all about it.

Meghan, thanks a lot for the tip regarding veggie stock. Thanks again for the detailed information about washing mushrooms. I will keep all of it in mind.

lla said...

From cell phones users to see the specific situation of occupational segmentation in 2009, accounting for 19.5% of students dropped 21.2 percent over last year, other types of occupations than those last year, the proportion of Internet users cheap cell phones increase. White collar crowd from last year's 29.2% increase to 38.9% this year, accounting for 9.7 percentage points up to replace the student groups cellphone users as one of the biggest occupational hierarchy; blue-collar crowd from last year's 13.9% to 18.9% this year, accounting for rose by 5.0 percentage points, showing that mobile phones users by a group of students to the occupational groups a significant trend in the development. Ereli advice that, cheap cell phones and mobile phone users Internet users monthly income distribution of age, education, occupational distribution has strong correlation with high spending capacity of white-collar workers and some students in the crowd will be a huge cell phone china online potential consumer groups.

lla said...

By comparing the traditional Internet users, Internet users to iResearch found that the traditional white-collar-based, cell phones wholesale, corporate general staff accounted for 18.9%, higher than the 5.6% of the wholesale cell phones users accounting; and discount cell phones users in the years students and blue-collar workers accounted for significantly more than the traditional Internet users, respectively, accounting for 19.5% and 18.9%, higher than the traditional Internet users Students and blue-collar workers accounted for 7.8% and 5.1% respectively.

Adi said...

Oes Tsetnoc | Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa | Kenali dan Kunjungi Objek Wisata di Pandeglang | Oes tsetnoc | Online Marketing | Electronics Gadgets | etips solution | Travel Guide

Miqdad said...

Law Loan mortgage Make money Marketing Relationship Website Seo Sport Traveling Women

Anonymous said...

酒店經紀 酒店打工 酒店工作 酒店上班 酒店兼差 酒店兼職 打工兼差 打工兼職 台北酒店 酒店應徵 禮服酒店 酒店 經紀 打工 兼差

jimmy choo wedges said...

jimmy choo louboutin
jimmy choo pumps
jimmy choo louboutin
christian louboutin simple pump
christian louboutin flats
jimmy choo wedges
Christian Louboutin Maggie 140 Pumps
Christian Louboutin Mary-Jane 120 platforms
Christian Louboutin Mesh Ring Platform Pump
Christian Louboutin Metallic Pump
CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN MIKA DORCET 100 PATENT CALF BLACK
CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN Mika Dorcet 100 Sandals (Blanc)

dfadf said...

beautiful blog..pls visit mine and be a follower.. thanks and God bless.. video and it isn't going away. All I can do is pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal to me my part or???????!Microsoft OfficeOffice 2010If I did truly miss it....I AM SO SORRY.Microsoft Office 2010However, conservatives have little to grumble about in the recent Office 2007face-off between Barack Obama and John McCain over McCain's statement thatte vi bailar bajo la lluvia
esperando la luna llena
Volverás a reírte de verasMicrosoft Office 2007troops Sólo sé de ti últimamente por tus alteridades... Y me gustan sus rastros. ¿Y este desvelamiento Office 2010 keyfighting had concluded, Office 2010 downloadMost recently, ABC's Jake Tapper noted that at least on three occasions Obama had personally said that McCain favored cuando creas que estaba perdidovolverás a reírte de veras
continued fighting in Office 2010 ProfessionalIraq for 100 years. Tapper concluded that "Obama has in the past distorted McCain's comments" and "that he is violating his own stated si te quedas conmigoTe vi bailar bajo la lluviaesperando la luna llente vi llorar bajo la lunMicrosoft outlookaspirations...[b]ecause not only has he distorted what McCain said, he is not being honest about having made those distortions."Outlook 2010Tapper is not the only MSM reporter to point this out, Windows 7of course. It is not every day that the RNC sends around e-mail blasts quoting Frank Microsoft outlook 2010Rich ("Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton should be ashamed of themselves for libeling John McCain") and reports from the Chicago Tribune,

vibrams said...

The louboutin heels is designed for the ladies. Since the pumps was born, the ladies life become colorful. The christian louboutin thong sandals are the god's masterwork. Who invited thechristian louboutin pumps? Seldom people knew, but I think every lady would be grateful for him. Among the countless pumps, the christian louboutin platforms is the most outstanding ones. The elegant pattern, the delicate style all mold the ladies perfect leg profile. Flowers in the spring of 2011 creeping, up from hair to clothes continue to footwear, have had a brilliant up. In such a glamor, spring and summer flowers now here. Romance is a woman's mood, exquisite flowers just right of expression in our gestures, the woman, how can we not love the romantic temperament so that they distributed the flowers do? 2011 flowers bloom will enjoy different poses!The christian louboutin wedges also can adds the hright of the ladies, it bring surprise to the short lady. Especially the red sole of the louboutin heels, magic and sexy, many ladies are crazy. The red sole, the first feature of the Christian Louboutin stroe.

Buy Cheap RS Gold said...

Excellent! Usually My spouse and i by no means go through entire posts however the method anyone wrote this information is merely remarkable and this kept my curiosity about studying and that i liked this.

http://www.maplestorybots.com/
http://rsgame2u.com/
http://catchwow.com/

FZF said...

I recently found your web site doing research on the internet. It reduced the problem considerably. Thanks.
http://victoria522.blogspot.com/2011/12/water-has-returned-to-thailand-out-of.html
http://netblogg.dk/victoria522/9154/India+hold+the+largest+military+exercise+in+20+years.html
http://victoria522.blogturk.org/51910/Ukrainian+Prime+Minister+Mykola+Azarov+said+the+imprisonment+of+Tymoshenko+expressed+regret.html
http://blogya.de/victoria625/526090/The+EU+will+levy+a+carbon+tax+to+provoke+outrage+countries.html
http://victoria522.asso-web.com/actualite-26-girl-was-swept-away-by-the-indian-ocean-tsunami-in-indonesia.html

gamelovers said...

Thanks for sharing and letting us aware about this information. This is a great thread, so much info.it ls a good article and love your words , so charming and make people learn a lot , thanks !
http://socialmedia.scianswers.com/nicewow/2012/01/12/players-can-discover-the-endless-realm-of-the-game-world/
https://circusnet.org/wowhere/2012/01/12/some-tips-about-how-to-farm-wow-gold-by-fishing/
http://needwow.bblog.se/2012/01/12/players-can-find-unbelievable-discounts-at-the-zyy-store/
http://littlewow.blogshells.com/2012/01/12/do_you_want_to_skill_more_challenging_monsters
http://morewowgold.in-rudn.ru/2012/01/12/fishing-in-the-game-is-a-good-method-to-be-rich-in-wow/
http://wowfree.blogcindario.com/2012/01/00003-it-may-maybe-be-an-exceptional-time-to-grab-a-bargain-for-wow-gold.html
http://blogosoleil.com/seegoldwow/billet.php?id=9769
http://makewow.bloggd.org/2012/01/12/the-european-union-is-heightening-its-pressure-on-hungary-for-reforms/
http://playerwow.blognet.me/2012/01/12/us-economy-on-mend-but-hiring-limited/
http://lovewow.eklablog.com/2012-oil-price-to-be-about-100-usd-per-barrel-eia-a30690048
http://onlinovegame.bloguez.com/onlinovegame/3910467/How-to-Buy-Cheap-World-of-Warcraft-Gold-Safely

Anonymous said...

Take it out Diablo 3 Goldinvolving stove as well as instantly add 3 pinches regarding Asafoetida.Blend effectively. Plunge inside some sort of ball of cotton and place about the dental that problems a person.
Guild Wars 2 Gold
You are able to have the alleviation in fw units.

itemrock said...

Thank you so much for step by step pictures. http://www.storewowgold.com/
http://www.tcgvip.com/
http://www.buywowgearforsale.com/

hou said...

I prepared something to go with it, but only the following day, when we were finishing leftovers.
meizu mx5 review
meizu m2 review
meizu mx5 price