November 9, 2008

Curried Couscous with Roasted Vegetables and Cilantro Yogurt

I had high hopes for this dish but it didn't turn out so well. The couscous itself didn't have much flavor but tasted better with the addition of the yogurt sauce. I didn't make the peach chutney--perhaps that was my downfall.

Curried Couscous with Roasted Vegetables and Cilantro Yogurt
slightly modified from
serves 3-4

Cilantro yogurt:
3 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves (from 3 large bunches)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup hung yogurt cheese (or sour cream)

Roasted vegetables:
1 large eggplant, unpeeled, cut into cubes
3 tablespoons oil, divided
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, cut into slices
1 large red bell pepper

1 tablespoon oil, divided
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tablespoon curry powder
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup plain couscous
1/2 cup dried currants

For cilantro yogurt:
Coarsely blend cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a processor. Transfer to a bowl and mix in yogurt and yogurt cheese. Cover and chill.

For vegetables:
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Spray 2 large baking sheets with nonstick spray. Mound eggplant cubes on 1 sheet; drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat and spread out evenly. Repeat with zucchini, using remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Roast eggplant and zucchini until golden and tender, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes for zucchini and 30 minutes for eggplant. Transfer vegetables to bowl and cool.

Meanwhile, char pepper directly over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. (Make sure it's really charred; otherwise it's difficult to peel.) Enclose in paper bag; let stand 10 minutes, then peel and seed pepper. Cut into 1-inch pieces.

For couscous:
Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Mix in curry powder; stir 1 minute. Add 1-1/2 cups water and simmer. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer curry water 10 minutes.

Heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large pot. Add couscous and stir constantly until color darkens and couscous is toasted, about 3 minutes. Mix in hot curry water. Turn off heat, cover pot, and let stand until couscous is tender and curry water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Fluff couscous with fork to separate grains. Mix in currants and cool completely. Mix in eggplant, zucchini, and bell pepper pieces. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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