When I don't travel in the Middle East, I am trying to bring the Middle East to my home - or to my plate, to be more precise. With my bag full of spices from Spice Kitchen UK, part of their Brand Ambassador Programme, I am bringing the rich world of flavour of the East to my West-Berlin kitchen.
And there are many opportunities coming to my door, almost begging me to take them, prepare them and further share them with my readers. A couple of weeks ago, I've purchased from a local store Kofu, produced in Berlin, using the culinary wisdom of Israel. It is a special kind of tofu, using chickpeas flour. Available in different variants, including simple, mine was the falafel-one, which means that it has the usual spices used for the preparation of this special Oriental dish. I am generally very skeptical when it comes to the non-Asian attempts of producing tofu - I've tried way too much from the Bio sortiment and none was really satisfactory compared to the usual original results. Kofu seems to be a completely different story with an unique taste, not necessarily the usual soybean one, but healthy, smooth and adaptable enough to a variety of ingredients and dishes.
Another great discovery I had is that there is a before and after using Ras-el-Hanout in your couscous everything. This spice made of dozen of ingredients - among which cardamom, rose petals, paprika salt, ginger, coriander, cloves and turmeric, to mention only few of them - gives actually THE taste to the couscous. All the other occassions when you had this typical Moroccan dish are past and not a very glorious one. Ras-el-Hanout brings flavour, strength and unique memories to your plate. With every single bite of my couscous dish I felt like being back from a long - foodie - sleep. All the years when I only added salt, or only za'atar were a nightmare, as nothing compares to taste revelation of a couscous done right. Feel free to try by yourself and you will experience by yourself this unusual enthusiasm.
The salad I prepared is easy, can be prepared in less than one hour and can be eaten both cold and warm, alone or in combination with meat - preferably chicken, in the summer as during the winter, as part of the lunch or the dinner menu. It suits the vegan or vegetarian, the healthy mother or child.
- 1 cup couscous
- 1/4 cup tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 medium-size eggs, beaten
- 10 small can champignons, halved
- 1/2 tablespoon Ras-el-Hanout spice
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 cup lemon zest
- 2 medium-size tomatoes, finelly cut
- 125 gr. Kofu Falafel-flavored tofu, cubed
In a medium-sized pan, add the oil, and let it fry, at least 10 minutes before starting to cook, at 250C. Add the couscous and eggs and 1 cup water and stir slowly. Add the Ras-el-Hanout and salt and lemon zest, and keep mixing every couple of minutes.
On another pan, slowly fry first the champignons and on another, the cubed Kofu. You can either fry them deep or just warm them a little bit. Once ready, add them to the bowl.
In the bowl, add the couscous, the tomatoes and the other ingredients and mix them well.
Your healthy meal is ready!
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes