Chickpeas, Pumpkin, and Raisins with Couscous Print Email

1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Olive oil
1 cinnamon stick, about 2 inches
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into fine half rings
3 medium tomatoes (12 ounces), peeled and finely chopped (I used canned)
2 cups cooked, drained chickpeas
2 heaped cups peeled, seeded pumpkin or butternut squash cut into 1-inch dice
2 tablespoons raisins
3 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup zucchini cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 cups whole wheat couscous
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
Harissa (or sambal or any chile-garlic sauce)

Combine the spices in a small cup and set aside.

Put the oil in a largish saucepan and set over medium-high heat. When it is hot, put in the cinnamon stick. Stir for a few seconds and then add the onion. Stir and fry for about 3 minutes, or until the onion is medium brown (I fried the onion for almost 10 minutes). Now stir in the cup of mixed spices; almost right away, add the tomatoes. Stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomatoes have softened.

Add the chickpeas, pumpkin or squash, raisins, stock, and salt and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn the heat to low, and cook for 13 to 15 minutes, until the pumpkin is just tender when pierced with the point of a knife. Add the zucchini and simmer uncovered for another 5 minutes, stirring gently now and then.

While the vegetables simmer, make the couscous. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. When it is about to boil, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over a medium flame and toast the couscous in it for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the boiling water into the pot of couscous, add a teaspoon of salt, and stir once. Immediately cover the pot, turn the heat to low, and cook very gently for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit somewhere warm, still covered, for 15 minutes.

To serve, stir the cilantro and parsley into the finished vegetables. Fluff the couscous thoroughly with a fork. Put a mound of couscous on each plate. Make a well in the center and use a slotted spoon to fill it with solids from the stew. Dampen the couscous generously with the liquids. Pass harissa or other hot sauce on the side. - serves 4 - Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian