This couscous salad with chickpeas beautifully combines health and taste. Raisins and feta cheese add an amazing texture and the fresh coriander leaves are right from my balcony garden! These day I have started exploring cooking with couscous, quinoa and daliya as a healthier alternatives to rice and pasta. High in fibre, couscous, makes a great base for salad meals and a much healthier alternative to pasta and also rice.
It’s amazing how our body takes care of itself when we adopt a healthier lifestyle. I recently started running and with that my craving for a heavy meal, especially during dinner, has come down. I have realised I feel the best when I eat a light salad or soup for dinner and that’s what I have started exploring more now as dinner options.
The recipe is adapted from the original in the cookbook Fresh Flavors From Israel. This book also has a story 🙂 I borrowed the book from my friend almost 6 months ago and “conveniently forgot” to return! When she recently went back home, she brought me back a gift. When I opened I realised I have to return the original book! 🙂 In the book, she had very sweetly written – “so that you can enjoy the recipes from my land always!”.
This cold salad tastes even better the next day as I realised when I packed it into the lunch box the next day 🙂
Couscous Salad with chickpeas and raisins
By Ashima Goyal Siraj
Preparation Time: | cooking time: | Serves: 4
1 cup plain couscous, medium grain size
1 cup chickpeas, canned or soaked overnight and then boiled
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint and coriander leaves, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
2 tsp Chana masala
1 tsp cumin powder
Salt and pepper to taste
For the dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Heat a pan and dry roast couscous for about 5 mins with continuous stirring.
- Remove from heat and add 2 cups of water and 1 tbsp oil to the pan. Take care when adding water as it would sputter. I remove the pan from heat as there is a lot of sputtering when adding water to the hot pan.
- Mix well and cook covered until all the water is used and the couscous is cooked through. Since its a cold salad it’s best to prepare the couscous in advance. So that it’s cool enough. For a faster cooling I had kept the bowl with cooked couscous in a cold water bath 🙂
- In a mixing bowl add the boiled/canned chickpeas and chopped bell pepper.
- Add all the spices and toss well.
- Fluff the cooled couscous with a fork and add them to the mixing bowl.
- Mix in half of the chopped coriander leaves and lime zest.
- Prepare the dressing in another bowl and drizzle over the salad. Toss again.
- Empty into serving bowls. Sprinkle over crumbled feta cheese and the remaining coriander leaves.