World Food Challenge

Day 99: Libyan Couscous

Hello Raffies!

Today we are going to Libya and enjoying some couscous!
First things first, I am a huge fan of couscous and love the North African cuisine.
My big dream is to get a real tajine..

Well, for this recipe, I have loosely followed this version and cherished the tips from the guys at the Arabic shop near my home.


500 g beef, cut in chunks

1 onion, halved and sliced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 potatoes, peeled and chopped

2 carrots, chopped

250 g pumpkin, peeled and chopped

1 cup chickpeas

1 bay leaf

1 tsp chili powder

2 tbsp hararat

1/2 cup tomato purée

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 tbsp brown sugar

3 cups beef broth

2 cups couscous



1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Vegetable oil for frying

For Hararat:

2 cinnamon sticks

4 tsp cumin seeds

4 tsp coriander seeds

2 red chilies

Start by making the Hararat spice mix. Toast all the ingredients in a pan until fragrant. You’ll notice it once the aroma of the spices is enhanced. Let cool down and pound in a mortar or grinder. You can store the mix for several months in an air-tight container.

In a Dutch oven or a big pot, heat the olive oil and fry the beef on all sides until brown. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Now add the garlic.
Add the chili powder, the Hararat, tomato purée, tomatoes, beef stock and brown sugar. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover with a lid and leave it to simmer for about 30 minutes.
Now season with salt and pepper. Add the chickpeas, carrots, pumpkin and potatoes and bring to a boil again. If needed, add some water. Reduce heat again and cover for a lid and simmer for about 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
When the consistency is thick and the beef is tender and the vegetables are soft, prepare the couscous. Usually pour it into some boiling water and leave until the water has absorbed, but check the instructions on the package.
Place the couscous on a serving platter and place the meat and vegetables on top.


The smell of the spices was already very promising during the cooking process. The result was great! A lovely dinner, followed by some typical sweets for Ramadan. As you might know, Ramadan, the month of fasting, is starting tomorrow. Therefore, at the shop today, there were a lot of freshly baked traditional sweets. How could anyone say no? I was even gifted half a watermelon!



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