Last night, for the first time ever, I decided to try my hand at Middle Eastern cooking – I am not sure how in the last 20 odd years I have managed to avoid cooking it but probably because more often than not I’ll leave it up to the pros.
Anyway I tried it out yesterday using this recipe from Homemade Recipes and there are a few changes I would make if (and probably when) I make it again and they are probably because I used actual beef and not a meat-free substitute so things turned out a little differently but I would make it next time with much less stock because although last night I had 100g of extra beef and 100ml less stock it was still far too watery which meant the spices weren’t coming through as I would have liked them to.
We were going to have it with quinoa because most people in the house don’t like couscous but I couldn’t get my hands on any so I just made rice instead – which I wish I had cooked with tumeric now but I didn’t think.
I have copied the recipe from Homemade Recipes below so you can see what I did and maybe give it a go:
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 medium onions , roughly chopped
350g pack Quorn mince
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground turmeric
100g ready-to-eat dried apricots , quartered
600ml vegetable stock
FOR THE COUSCOUS
grated zest of 2 lemons
4 tbsp chopped fresh mint
50g unsalted cashews , toasted under the grill
1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick pan, add the onions and cook gently for 5 minutes until they soften. Stir in the Quorn and spices (unlike meat and poultry, Quorn doesn’t need to be browned), then add the apricots and stock. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and cook gently for 10-15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make up the couscous following the packet instructions – it will take about 450ml boiling water to give it a nice fluffy texture. Fork through the lemon zest and mint. Season to taste.
3. Spoon the couscous onto serving plates, pile the Quorn mixture on top and scatter with the cashews.