Couscous Recipes: Marrakech Couscous

The traditional Marrakech couscous is both sweet and spicy, uses lamb and seven kinds of vegetables – seven is for good luck in Morocco.

Serves 6 people

675g (1 ½ lbs) couscous
2 lamb shanks, trimmed
2 white onions, quartered
5 red tomatoes, peeled, seeded and quartered
450g (1lb) carrots, peeled and cut into 3.75cm (1 ½ “)
450g (1lb) cabbage, peeled and cut into 3.75cm (1 ½ “)
450g (1lb) broad beans, peeled and cut into 3.75cm (1 ½ “)
450g (1lb) turnips, peeled and cut into 3.75cm (1 ½ “)
450g (1lb) courgettes, quartered
450g (1lb) pumpkin, cut
450g (1lb) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut
1 fresh chilli pepper
A handful of raisins
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Pinch of pulverised saffron
½ teaspoon powdered turmeric
A bunch of fresh green coriander and parsley, chopped
Salt and black pepper to taste

To prepare the couscous, follow the instructions for making couscous.

To make the broth, place the trimmed lamb in a pan with half the butter. Add the salt, pepper, saffron turmeric, onions, tomatoes, cabbage and herbs. Cover and cook gently over low heat for 10 minutes. Add 2.8 litres (5 pints) water and bring to the boil. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Add the carrots and turnips and continue cooking for 30 minutes more.

30 minutes before serving, add the courgettes, broad beans, chilli pepper and raisins to the broth. Spoon some of the broth to a separate pan and use it to cook the pumpkin and sweet potatoes until tender.

Spread out the couscous into a serving dish and form a large well in the centre. Using a perforated spoon, transfer the meat and vegetables to the well. Add the pumpkin and sweet potato slices. Drain the broth and serve separately with the Harissa sauce.