Cumin Spiced Couscous with Dried Apricots, Sultanas and Tahini Grilled Aubergines

This couscous dish was inspired by Ottolenghi’s basmati & wild rice with chickpeas, currants & herbs recipe. I didn’t measure the ingredients, but to give you an idea of how much spice I used for a serving of 6: 2 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp curry powder, 2 tsp ground coriander, 1.5 tsp salt.

2014-08-04 19.19.07I threw together some couscous, leftover bulgar wheat, stir fried bell peppers, chopped dried apricots, sultanas and crispy fried onions. The sweetness of the dried fruit is a lovely addition to spiced dishes. I’ve also tried this with chopped parsley and coriander, which adds a freshness to the spices, and chickpeas, which could turn this dish into a vegetarian main course.

I paired the couscous with some meatballs, chicken skewer, and grilled baby aubergines/eggplant drizzled with tahini sauce. Tahini is a Middle Eastern staple ingredient that is most commonly used to make humus, but I had not tried it as the main ingredient of a sauce. Now, I am a tahini sauce convert. Tahini can be quite dry in texture, but with the sourness of the lemon juice and juiciness of the aubergines, it is a great combination. It is quite an expensive ingredient, especially if you don’t plan on using a whole bottle, but it is so easy to make homemade tahini.

2014-08-04 19.19.45Notes:

  • Homemade tahini (adjust quantities in this ratio) – 4 cups toasted sesame seeds, 1/4 cup neutral flavoured oil such as sunflower oil. Blend until smooth.

Tahini sauce

  • 3tbsp homemade tahini, see notes
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic crushed/1tsp garlic powder
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Salt
  • 3tbsp water, more if needed
  1. Whisk together to create a watery paste consistency.
  2. Refrigerate and use as needed. It will keep for up to a week.