Recipe for Spiced Couscous with Currants

By Jenna Holst

A staple of North African cuisine, couscous is granular semolina and is technically a type of pasta, not a grain. The instant variety used in this recipe makes a quick and delicious side dish. It can be served hot or at room temperature as a salad.

[Credit: iStockphoto.com/TeQui0]
Credit: iStockphoto.com/TeQui0

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Spice meter: Mildly to moderately spiced

1 cup instant couscous

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup boiling water or chicken broth

1-1/2 tablespoon butter

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1/3 cup currants, plumped

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the couscous, salt, and boiling water and stir.

  2. Add the butter, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne. Cover and let stand for about 5 minutes, until the couscous is plumped. Fluff with a fork and stir in the currants.

Not sure how to plump currants? Put the currants in a small bowl. Pour enough boiling water over them to cover them completely. Let them stand for 10 minutes. Drain in a sieve, discarding the water.

Per serving: Calories 157 (From Fat 28); Fat 3g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 8mg; Sodium 198mg; Carbohydrate 28g (Dietary Fiber 2g); Protein 4g.