Curried Couscous with Fresh Pomegranate
A few years ago not very many Americans were familiar with Pomegranates. Then someone declared pomegranates to be a “superfood” because they are high in antioxidants and suddenly we started seeing fresh pomegranates and pomegranate Juice in every supermarket. Several times I saw TV show that did segments on how to peel pomegranates to get to the juicy seeds inside. Now there are even Youtube videos on how to take the edible seeds out of the fruit and Whole Foods sells small plastic packets that coast as much as $7.99 (exorbitant!). I grew up in India and we used to have pomegranate trees in our backyard but often we had to compete with the wild parrots for the most juicy and ripe pieces of fruit! My mother used to tie pieces of cheesecloth over the pomegranates to keep the birds from getting to them. The Indian variety was a much smaller fruit which was pale yellow in color and it tasted good but the preferred variety was the kind that was imported from Afghanistan (especially the region of Kandahar) and it would arrive in the markets in October and November and I had to literally beg my parents to buy a few for me. In my mind, there will always be an association between pomegranates and the province of Kandahar, so when I hear of the Taliban attacks in that province or the US military convoy getting hit by an IED or the political turmoil in that province, all I can think of are the wasted pomegranates!
Anyway, now we get pomegranates from farms in California and they are just as good as those from Kandahar. I usually get mine from the Korean/Asian supermarkets or from the Indian Stores (they are less expensive there) and while they are in season, I add them to everything! A few days back I had added them to roasted Asparagus spears and that dish came out delicious and today I added them to couscous to make simple couscous salad. I think pomegranates are so versatile and delicious that they work in just about anything!
1. One fresh pomegranate
2. One cup of uncooked couscous
3. ¾ cup of chicken or vegetable stock
4. ¾ cup water
5. 1 can of organic chickpeas
6. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
7. 1 teaspoon of curry powder
8. A bunch of fresh mint leaves
9. A bunch of fresh cilantro leaves
10. One green chili (less if they are hot chilies)
11. ½ a medium red onion
12. 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
13. One Lime
1. In a medium saucepan add ¾ cup chicken stock, ¾ cup water, salt, one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and bring them to a boil over medium heat.
2. When the liquid starts to bubble, add the couscous, stir thoroughly and switch the heat off. Cover the container with a tight lid and set aside for 5 minutes.
3. Peel and dice the red onion into small pieces.
4. Heat a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a small skillet (over medium heat) and pour the chopped pieces of onion to the skillet. Stir and let them cook for 2-3 minutes.
5. While the onions are cooking, open the can of chickpeas and wash them under a stream of cold water to remove any excess salt. Drain the chickpeas and then add them to the skillet with onions in it. Stir the chickpeas and let them cook a little bit over low heat.
6. Add the curry powder to the skillet, stir and switch the heat off.
7. Slice the green chili thinly
9. Chop the mint leaves.
10. Open the lid of the pot containing couscous and using a fork, fluff up the couscous.
11. Add the cooked chickpeas and onions to the couscous and stir.
12. Add the sliced green chili, cilantro and mint leaves to the couscous and stir.
13. Add the juice of one lime to the couscous and stir
14. Peel the pomegranate and take the seeds out gently.
15. Mix the pomegranate seeds to the couscous and stir gently.
16. Serve the pomegranate couscous as a salad for a light lunch or as a side dish with any entrée.
This looks great. How to choose between it and the chickpea and coconut salad? I must make them both!
Hey Mary-Jo …sorry I must have missed this comment earlier…yes, they are both good options and even though both of them have chickpeas in them, they both taste completely different, so try both of them 🙂 and let me know how they turn out!