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Couscous

6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, cut into big chunks
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup eggplant, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. grated ginger
2-inch piece cinnamon stick, broken into bits
1 Tbsp. cumin powder
1 Tbsp. coriander powder
3 cups vegetable stock
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup cooked chickpeas
Salt, to taste
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 cup freshly chopped coriander leaves
1/2 tsp. saffron strands soaked in 2 Tbsp. warm water for half an hour
1 1/2 cups couscous
5 cups boiling water
1 Tbsp. margarine
2 Tbsp. freshly chopped coriander leaves
A few fresh sprigs coriander

• Heat the oil. Add the onions, carrots, eggplant, and zucchini. Stir for 2 minutes.
• Add the garlic, ginger, and cinnamon sticks. Stir for 5 minutes.
• Add the cumin powder, coriander powder, and vegetable stock. Stir and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables become tender.
• Add the tomatoes and the tomato paste. Stir for 2 minutes.
• Add the chickpeas, salt, and chili powder. Stir and add the coriander leaves and saffron.
• Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and set aside.
• Put the couscous in the boiling water and cover for 2 minutes. Drain the excess water. Stir in the margarine and coriander leaves. To serve, spoon some couscous onto each plate, ladle the vegetable stew over it, and garnish with coriander sprigs.

Makes 4 servings

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