After a fabulous cooking evening with a lovely woman from Morocco, I was inspired to make my own alkaline Moroccan dish. All the wonderful spices, colours and smells simmering together. I won’t be using any traditional tajines from Northern Africa …just my simple oven and pan. I’ve substituted wheat based couscous (acid forming) with cauliflower couscous (alkaline) instead. The grilled vegetables, mild spices and roasted almonds work extremely well with the cauliflower couscous. Try it, you’ll see…
First we start by grilling the zucchini, aubergines and garlic in the oven. The cherry tomatoes added half way through.
Onions are gently fried with a mix of spices. I’m a huge fan of ground cumin as it gives a wonderful earthy flavour to vegetable dishes. Curcuma, with it’s distinctive yellow colour, is also widely used in Morocco – the name comes from Arabic kurkum (كركم) meaning “turmeric” which is another name you may know it by. I just adore the colours and smells when making this…
Another important “secret” tip when making this dish is to roast the almonds in some oil until golden which changes the taste to a deep nutty flavour that goes oh so well with these vegetables. They use other oils in Morocco for roasting but we’ll stick with coconut oil for its alkaline properties and nutritional benefits.
For the “couscous”, I’ve gently fried cauliflower, onions and garlic. You might be surprised just how mild in flavour it becomes and makes a wonderful base. Some people call it cauliflower rice and it can be used as a substitute for certain types of rice dishes as well.
Then all the vegetables come together to simmer a few minutes. At this point, I like to add some raisins as it gives a lovely sweet taste that contrasts well with the spices and nuts.
Place the cauliflower couscous first in a serving bowl and add the vegetables on top and finish off with the roasted almonds. The delicious juices will slowly seep down into the couscous. Enjoy!!
- 1 head of cauliflower, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbp coconut oil
- 1 medium aubergine
- 4 medium zucchini
- 1 whole garlic head
- 2 medium onions
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground ginger (or freshly grated)
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp curcuma
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup almonds
- 2 tbs coconut oil (or olive oil)
- Heat the oven to 180°C (355°F)
- Place chopped aubergine, zucchini and garlic head (top cm sliced off) onto lined tray
- Drizzle with a little oil and cook for 30 mins
- When 10 mins remain, add the cherry tomatoes
- In a deep saucepan, add 2 tbs oil and 2 chopped onions
- Fry for 3 mins until soft then add spices and cook 1 more minute
- Add the roasted vegetables from oven to the onions and spices (remove garlic skin first)
- Add broth and raisins and simmer on low heat for 5-10 mins
- In a small pan, add 2 tbs coconut oil and almonds
- Simmer on low heat for 3-4 minutes until golden
- Remove almonds carefully and dry on kitchen paper
- Chop up cauliflower in a blender until fine
- Heat coconut oil and add 1 chopped onion and simmer for 3 mins
- Add garlic and simmer for another minute until soft
- Add cauliflower and cook on medium to low heat for 15-20 mins, stirring occasionally
- Place cauliflower couscous onto serving plate, add vegetables and finish with roasted almonds