Recipe by Mark & Minna
"This is a spicy couscous recipe for the winter months from far in the Arctic north!"
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medium onion, chopped
whole star anise pods
salt to taste
garlic, peeled and chopped
red bell pepper, chopped
dried hot red peppers, diced
ground black pepper
fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 1/2 cups
This was fantastic! However, I made a couple of substitutions for personal taste and convenience. I used 2 whole fresh chilies (about 3 inches long) in place of the dried ones and substituted zucchini for the mushrooms for some additional nutrition (and also because zucchini is what I had on hand). In the final step, I added the vegetable stock directly to the veggie mixture, brought to a slow boil, added the couscous, covered the pan, removed it from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. It looked beautiful and tasted magnificent!
For the most part, this is a great site and I have gotten many great recipes from it. That being said, there are a small number of recipes, this one included, where not only do I not understand how it achieved 5 stars, but I literally cannot fathom how ANYONE would give this 5 stars. My father and I made it EXACTLY as written (we even went to a Chinese market to buy star anise). What does it taste like? It tastes like couscous with onions and mushrooms and a little sweetness. Nothing interesting about it and you couldn't taste the dates, the star anise or the vegetable stock. It was alot of trouble for a bland dinner. One more thing, star anise pods become like little pieces of plastic floating around in the dish and they are almost impossible to pick out until you have the unfortunate occasion to bite into one. The only reason I'm giving this 2 stars instead of 1 is because I do like couscous with onions and mushrooms :)
This has fast become one of my favorite dishes...so delicious. I serve it with a roasted sweet potatoe. If you cannot tolerate very spicy foods, then lessen the dried pepper to what you feel you can handle. It comes out very spicy. I used crimini mushrooms, they are meatier then the white button. I'd give this 6 stars if I could.
amazing dish! I would also say, in regards to the previous rating, that I would give this a 6 star rating if I could. I did change something important though. I didn't have any anise on hand so I used a small amount of coursely chopped fennel seeds instead. I haven't had it with the anise, but with the fennel it was grand. This is also a recipe that can be made ahead of time and quickly reheated in the oven. Watch the time on the covered simmering couscous, it barely takes the 3 min.
Substituted some red curry paste for chilies and added a zucchini and a can of kidney beans. Left out the lemon juice and pepper (personal preferences.) It was wonderful! Tip: Cut the dates lengthwise to remove pits easily before chopping. Don't forget to remove the star anise pods before eating. More vegetable broth may be needed to get the couscous consistency you desire.
Really liked this - it was a good blend of spicy and sweet. Like others have done, I added 1 zucchini. I would also increase the amount of dates the next time I make it.
This was really really good but I had to make some substitutions because of ingredients I didn't have. I used scant 1/2 tsp anise powder instead of the pods, about a tsp salt, 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic, 1 whole red bell pepper chopped, just a pinch of black pepper, 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms (they really do give it a wonderful flavor), 1/3 cup chopped dates, and used chicken stock instead of vegetable. I also used about a tsp Sriracha hot sauce instead of the dried pepper because I couldn't find any and it gave it just the right amount of spice. I also had to add about 2 more T of oil after adding the mushrooms, etc because it would have been too dry. YUM *edit* by the way this makes around 4 servings, not 2!
"A food so nice they named it twice!" :) The rave reviews for this dish initially sold me. I gave the couscous a whirl, and was in awe of the superb mix of flavors. It reminds me of a Southern Mexico stew that combines many of the same flavors- cinnamon, anise, hot peppers, dates (they also add boiled eggs and potatoes!). The sugar from the dates nicely caramelized the rest of the veggies near the end of the cooking process. The warming spices are perfect for the coming cold months!
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Spicy Couscous with Dates
Serving Size: 1/2 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 96
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