Thursday, 28 June 2012

spiced butternut tagine with cauliflower couscous

... to be honest, even though the wonderful TOTAL Greek Yoghurt is an essential and delicious addition to this recipe and one of the 1000 ways to LOVE your TOTAL... the real star of this dish is the cauliflower couscous... and it comes to us from the infamous El Bulli restaurant in Spain... via the lovely Paul Merrett of course... it's both totally brilliant in its replacement genius and completely obvious in a slap-of-the-forehead, why-didn't-i-think-of-this kind of way... I mean come ON we've all swept up those annoying little ball-bearings of cauliflower florets after preparing one for steaming or baking... it's just taking this a step further... and I for one am very pleased to have been taught this... just think of all the wonderful ways this could be jazzed up and served... so excited...!

spiced butternut tagine with cauliflower couscous
i'm going to give you the long method for this recipe but to be honest I think you could easily do this in one oven-proof dish, roasting the beg together at the start and then, once nice and toasty, adding the rest of the ingredients for a long slow roast...

for the spice mix
1/2 bsp fennel seeds
2 pinches chilli flakes
1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander
1 inch cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2  tbsp paprika

for the tagine
1 butternut squash peeled and roughly cut into smallish cubes
8 cloves garlic - finely chopped
1 red onion - finely diced
1 yellow pepper - diced
1 red pepper - diced
1 3/4 tins of chopped tomatoes
100g dried apricots - halved
approx 20 green olives
1 tin of chickpeas

for the fennel seed yoghurt
200g of TOTAL Greek Yoghurt
2 tsp of fennel seeds
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp chopped coriander
1tsp mint - chopped

for the cauliflower couscous
1 head of cauliflower - cut into florets
20 inch square of muslin (or a thin tea-towel)

- gently dry fry the spices and then grind them with a pestle and mortar

- place the cubes squash in a bowl, sprinkle a third of the spice mix onto them and mix them around till they're coated

- in hot olive oil gently fry the squash in batches until they are golden brown

- in a large casserole dish saute the onions and garlic till soft, then add the peppers, followed by the tomatoes and chickpeas and let them simmer for 5 mins

- add the apricots, olives and the squash, stir, add a little water to stop it from drying and let it simmer gently for 5 mins or until all is soft.  At this stage you can add as much as the remaining spice mix to taste.  Place the lid on and take it off the heat.

- dry fry the fennel seeds, cool and grind then mix with the yoghurt, paprika, mint and coriander and set aside

cauliflower couscous
- trim the cauliflower florets from the stalk and then whizz them up in a mixer, using the pulse setting until they resemble... well... couscous...

- wrap the couscous in muslin and steam in a colander or steamer for 5 mins

a big shout-out to my laydeez Liz and Fleur without whom I could not share this dish with you today...

eat and of course, enjoy!


  1. Such amazing flavors in this dish. It looks so inviting and perfect!

  2. I am completely fascinated by this cauliflower couscous idea. I must try it ASAP!

  3. This whole thing is mind blowing. I was totally (no pun intended) intrigued by the cauliflower couscous thing, but actually the whole lineup sounds fantastic, and I'd never be able to put together all those flavors and spices myself. This one is a must do, soon.

  4. Great recipe!! I like total greek yogurt...I use to buy it "0%", it's creamy even if it's not fat!

  5. That cauliflower couscous is such a genius idea - esp when trying to renounce the white carbs...

  6. This looks so delicious!
    I love the cauliflower trick :)
    Thanks for sharing, Dom :))

  7. Be still my beating heart and drooling mouth! Nom nom!

  8. This sounds amazing--hearty & spicy & full of all the vegetables. And of course I can definitely use as much delicious spiced yogurt in my mouth as possible. :)

  9. Califlower couscous is fantastic! It is brilliant mixed with chopped feta and tomatoes - yum.

  10. Fennel seed yoghurt sounds great. Also have all ingredients for that tagine. Whoppeee!

  11. Yum! I adore tagine cooking - this is right up my alley. I can't wait to make this, Dom!

  12. Cauliflower couscous? I've never heard of it before, but what an ingenious idea! I absolutely must try it out! Especially since I adore tagines…

  13. I just bought a box of whole wheat couscous. I wonder how purple cauliflower would look in this dish. It seems my market always has purple and lime green cauliflower. The spice mix has so many flavors going on. Another wonderful recipe.

  14. cauliflower couscous's such an intriguing idea! the whole dish actually sounds like a really light dish perfect for summer. I probably would get hungry in a while though! love the spices that you used, and they sound brilliant with greek yogurt!

  15. Just cooking couscous for the kids when I came across this recipe. It looks delicous so we will have to try it next time. Thanks for sharing it.


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