Working man street food in Morocco, Harissa Couscous with Pine Nuts and Fried Eggs recipe from Vegetarian Tagines & Couscous, 65 Delicious Recipes for Authentic Moroccan Food (Ryland Peters & Small) by Ghillie Basan.
Harissa Couscous with Pine Nuts and Fried Eggs
This is a tasty street dish, which is also popular in working men’s cafés in the markets and ports. It is great served for brunch or for a quick spicy snack late at night. If you want to create a meal around it, replace the eggs with one of the egg tagines, or serve it with pickled chillies and a yogurt-based salad.
350 g/2 cups couscous
1 teaspoon sea salt
400 ml/1 2⁄3 cups warm water
1–2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons ghee, or 1 tablespoon olive oil plus 1 tablespoon butter
2 generous teaspoons Harissa *
a small bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground
12 dried red chillies (Horn or New Mexico), deseeded
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt
3–4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
a small bunch of fresh coriander/cilantro, finely chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
a small sterilized jar
Makes a Small Jar
Put the chillies in a bowl and pour over enough warm water to cover them. Leave them to soak for 2–3 hours, then drain and squeeze out any excess water.
Using a mortar and pestle, pound the cumin and coriander seeds to a coarse paste with the salt. Add the garlic and pound until creamy, then add the chillies and pound to a thick paste. Stir in the fresh coriander/cilantro and bind with most of the olive oil.
Transfer the paste to a small sterilized jar and pour in the remaining oil so that there is a thin layer ﬂoating on top. It will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Put the couscous into a large bowl. Stir the salt into the warm water and pour it over the couscous. Stir once to make sure all the grains are submerged in the water, cover the bowl with a clean tea/dish towel and leave the couscous to absorb the water for 10 minutes. Rake the couscous with a fork to break up the grains.
Dry roast the pine nuts in a heavy-based saucepan, or the base of a tagine, until they begin to turn golden brown. Stir in half of the ghee until it melts, then add the Harissa. Tip the couscous into the pan and toss it in the ghee and Harissa, until it is thoroughly mixed.
Season the couscous, toss in half of the parsley, cover the pan and keep warm.
Heat the remaining ghee in a frying pan and crack the eggs into it. Cover the pan and fry the eggs until the whites are just ﬁrm.
Tip the couscous onto a serving dish, place the eggs on top of it, and garnish with the rest of the parsley, to serve.
(* Recipe from 'Vegetarian Tagines & Couscous, 65 Delicious Recipes for Authentic Moroccan Food' by Ghillie Basan, © Ryland Peters & Small, Photography by Steve Painter)