Couscous Recipes: Tangier Couscous

A traditional couscous from the northern city of TangierSeksou Tanjaoui.

Serves 6 people

675g (1 ½ lbs) couscous
680g (1 ½ lbs) lamb neck, cut into 6 pieces
175g (6 oz) dried chickpeas
1 large Spanish onion, quartered and sliced thinly lengthwise
6 medium onions, quartered
115g (4 oz) raisins
225 (8 oz) unsalted butter
pinch of cayenne
¼ teaspoon powdered turmeric mixed with pulverised saffron
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
2 sprigs of fresh green coriander and parsley, tied together with thread
Salt and black pepper to taste

Soak the dried chickpeas overnight. The next day, drain them, cover with cold water and cook for 1 hour. Drain, cool and submerge the chickpeas in a bowl of cold water. Gently rub the chickpeas with your fingers so that the skins discard and rise to the top of the water. Set the peeled chickpeas aside.

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

To make the broth, place the lamb in at the bottom of the couscoussier with half the butter. Add the salt, pepper, saffron, turmeric, ginger, cayenne, quartered onions and herbs. Cover and cook gently over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the dried chickpeas and 2.4 litres (4 ½ pints) water and bring to the boil. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

Thirty minutes before serving, remove the lamb shin bone and discard, and then cut the lamb into chunks. Add the raisins, thinly sliced onion and lamb pieces to the broth.

Just before serving, dot the couscous in the last 5 minutes of steaming with the remaining butter. Spread out the couscous into a serving dish and form a large well in the centre. Using a perforated spoon, transfer the lamb into the centre and cover with the onions, raisins and chickpeas. Drain the broth and serve separately.