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The Lady Prefers Couscous

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The Lady Prefers Couscous
4 servings Medium
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Ingredients (13)

  • 3/4 cup of Israeli couscous
  • 1 1/4 cup of chicken stock
  • 25 lady's fingers (okra) washed and cut into medallions
  • 1 yellow bell pepper cut into small cubes
  • one shallot thinly sliced
  • 1.5 tsp of tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp of coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp of cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp of cumin seeds
  • red pepper powder to taste
  • salt to taste
  • a few curry leaves (optional)
  • olive oil
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This dish melds Indian spices and Israeli couscous —a big-kerneled and heartier version of finer couscous. The stars of the dish, however, are the lady’s fingers, which at first might seem to be an uncommon pairing with yellow bell peppers, but add a surprisingly fresh flavor to this unique side dish.


  1. 1Boil the chicken stock and put Israeli couscous in the pot. Lower the heat so stock simmers and cook the couscous covered until tender (approximately 8-10 minutes). After couscous is cooked al dente, turn the heat off and leave the couscous to continue cooking in the covered pot. This will ensure the couscous soaks up any excess liquid and becomes fluffy.
  2. 2In the meantime, in a bowl mix salt, 1/2 tsp of tumeric, a dash of red pepper, and the lady’s fingers. Set aside.
  3. 3In a skillet, heat two tablespoons of olive oil, put in cumin seeds, curry leaves (if available), and shallots. Fry until fragrant. Add in lady’s fingers, and mix with shallots, seeds, and oil for a bit. The lady’s fingers will soak up much of the oil and you may have to add a bit more if the pan starts to burn. Add in rest of the spices (cumin powder, corriander powder, red pepper powder, salt) and mix well.
  4. 4When it seems like the lady’s fingers are well mixed with the spices, are getting a bit crispy on the edges (ie. they are no longer mushy and sticky), add in the bell peppers. Cook until bell peppers are soft. Turn heat off.
  5. 5Now, check on the Israeli couscous. If there appears to be liquid left, then drain it out. Put couscous in same skillet as vegetables and mix well. Adjust salt to taste.
  6. 6Best served as an accompaniment to a chicken or a white fish main dish.
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