I made this for a party of 8, so do the math if you are going to make it for less than that number. I hated math at school–so i just eyeball everything when I am making it for less then 8.
You will need:
1) 3 pounds of veal cut into big pieces (if you cut them into small or medium pieces, they won’t retain their shape in the long cooking process)
2) 1/2 bunch of cilantro washed and tied with a piece of string
3) 3 tsp of freshly ground pepper
4) salt to taste
5) 3 big onions finely sliced
6) 12 saffron threads (crushed between your fingers)
7) Saffron food coloring (orange)
8) 1 tsp ground ginger
9) 3 tblsp of Olive Oil
10) 3 tblsp of Canola Oil
11) Chick peas (soaked overnight)
12) 3 tomatoes (medium) diced.
13) a small cabbage cut length wise, and then each half cut into two width wise.
14) 6 big carrots, peeled and cut into half
15) 4 small zucchini, cut lenghtwise and then into each half cut into two.
16) I used a whole ACORN SQUASH, peeled completely and cut into 6 quarters.
17) Couscous, Medium (DO NOT BUY THE READY IN 5 MINUTES)–the brands i used are either TRIA or FRIDA both of which are available at either a Middle Eastern Store of an Indian Store. MAKE SURE YOU BUY THE MEDIUM.
To make this dish, you will need a couscous pot–it looks like this: http://www.fantes.com/couscoussier.html They are available in the Middle Eastern Stores here in Minneapolis, and they come in sizes SMALL, MEDIUM and LARGE. For this recipe you will need the large one.
So, in the pot you will mix in the first 11 ingredients in the “You will need” section–except instead of the 3 onions you will add 2 and leave one for later. Mix them all together and place the pot, with over, on first high and then medium once it starts boiling. Leave on for 30 minutes to cook. After 30 minutes, add the tomatoes and let cook for another 20 minutes.
Now it is time to prepare the couscous. I used 1 and 1/4 kg of couscous (a packet and a quarter). Place it in a big plate. Add 1/2 cup of warm water and 2 tlsp of canola oil and and mix it in with your fingers. It should feel moist, if it isn’t add a little more water. Leave aside for 10 minutes.
After ten minutes, place the couscous in the pan with holes (it comes with the couscous pot ) and place on the opening of the pot with the meat and spices. Let it cook for 20 minutes. USE A TIMER–it REALLY helps. After twenty minutes add the rest of the onion and let cook for another 20 minutes, with the couscous still on top.
After 20 minutes empty the couscous again on a plate and run your fingers through it to make sure there aren’t ANY lumps. If there are loosen between your fingers. BE CAREFUL IT IS HOTTTTT ! Again add 1/2 cup of warm water and again mix with your fingers and leave aside for 10 minutes. After which you place in the pan with holes and attach to the pot on the stove again. Let cook for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes add the carrots (they take longer to cook) and boiling water to the meat and spice mixture, covering it COMPLETELY.Attach the pan with the couscous to the pot and let boil for another 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes empty the couscous ONE LAST time onto the plate, salt to taste (keep on tasting it until it is as you desire) add 1/2 cup of water and cover and leave aside for 20 minutes.
After the 20 minutes add the rest of the vegetables, except for the zucchini and attach the pan with the couscous and let cook for 15 minutes. Then add the zucchini and let cook for another 15 minutes.
IT IS DONE !!! Serve on a platter of your choice. First form a bed of couscous, then SLOWLY spoon and arrange the vegetables and meat and then pour the liquid mixture to moisten the couscous. You can serve the rest on the side, so your guests can spoon some more while eating.