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Rubied Couscous With Pomegranates & Chickpeas

"How much do you earn?" "What did you pay for your house?" "Your baby is too hot dressed like that." "Are you married or can I introduce you to my son?" It takes some getting used to Israeli straight-talking but, when compared to the stand-offish societies that many of us hail from, I'll take the local outspokenness anytime. I especially relate to Israelis' eagerness to share information, as is evident in that I willingly post recipes for many of Meatland's best selling dishes in our recipe books, and through this weekly newsletter. This week's trial dish Rubied Couscous With Pomegranates & Chickpeas is so amazingly delicious, so easy to make, and so perfectly suited to Rosh Hashana, that it's my pleasure to pass on this now-not-so-secret recipe here. Simply wonderful served with a brisket or chicken, it's also packed with protein, making it a great vegan or vegetarian side dish, an office lunch, or mini-meal. I figure that what goes around, comes around, and sharing a gem like this can only bring good karma!


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon salt (Maldon if possible)

  • Coarse black pepper to taste

  • 1 packet of couscous (see notes)

  • 1 3/4 cups boiling parve chicken stock

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • Seeds of 1 pomegranate OR 1/2 cup cranberries

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds or toasted almonds

  • Chopped parsley

Method: 1: Heat oil and fry onions for approximately 5 minutes till softened, add garlic and cook 1 minute longer, then add turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper and cook for 30 seconds. 2: Add the couscous and toss, remove from the heat, add the oil and hot stock, and mix with a fork. 3: Cover for 5 minutes then toss with a fork to separate grains, add the pomegranate seeds/cranberries, chickpeas, seeds/nuts and chopped parsley and toss to mix. 4: Refrigerate till ready to serve, check seasoning for salt and pepper, and serve at room temperature for maximum flavor. COOK'S NOTES: I like using large grain couscous or wholewheat couscous whenever possible. There is just over 2 cups of couscous per packet and you add 1 3/4 cups of boiling stock to this amount. You can substitute couscous with 2 cups of quinoa to 2 3/4 cups of stock, and in this case. you should bring it to the boil and then simmer covered for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow it to stand covered before forking through and adding remaining ingredients. Add cubes of cooked chicken if desired to make this into a complete meal. It doesn't need it though as it's pretty perfect just the way it is. Try use pomegranates instead of cranberries while they are in season as the tartness is wonderful here. Don't leave out the spices which are very gentle as you don't have a dressing and need this flavor.

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