Mom used to make a super simple but delicious curried rice recipe that baked in the oven seemingly forever, tantalizing us with the delicious warm smell of curry, but it was worth the wait. It came out creamy and mild, studded with red and green bell peppers and buttery-soft onions. When I left home and began cooking for myself, it was my go-to dish, humble-looking, but sure to impress after the first bite. And the recipe made tons so I ate on the leftovers for days.
I haven’t made that rice dish in years, but when I ran across a curried couscous recipe from Feeding the Healthy Vegetarian Family, by Ken Haedrich, it immediately reminded me of those long ago days. I eliminated the oil, mixed up the vegetables, used dried golden raisins (or sometimes dried cherries) instead of currants and totally ditched the dressing. This doesn’t cook forever in the oven and in fact, spends no time at all in the oven! You can have it on the table within a half hour or so. But that warm curry essence is in there. The veggies here are just a suggestion, of course. Use what you love – or have in the veggie bin. Once again I must thank Bar at The Veg Bar for sharing her wonderful oil-free dressing. Instead of basil, I used parsley this time around – and it’s just as fabulous.
Curried Couscous & Vegetable Salad
Light and refreshing yet highly flavorful – this raw vegetable-heavy salad is perfect for hot days.
- 2 tsp. mild curry powder
- 1/8 tsp. turmeric
- 1 cup whole wheat couscous
- ~ 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- pinch salt
- 1/3 cup golden raisins or dried tart cherries
- 2 Tbsp. red onion, finely chopped
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. fresh mint, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 4 Tbsp. low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 Tbsp. water
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup fresh parsley
- juice of half a lemon
- zest of half a lemon
- 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened vegan yogurt
- salt & pepper to taste
Make the couscous
- Heat a saucepan over medium heat and stir in the curry powder and turmeric. Toast the spices, stirring frequently – just until they become fragrant. Add the couscous, coating it with the spices. Slowly pour in the broth and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and let cook for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and let the couscous absorb the liquid. It’ll be kind of a nice, thick saucy mixture. This is good. Set aside to cool.
Make the dressing
- Put all of the ingredients into a blender and process until nice and smooth. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cherries, onion, zucchini, bell pepper, parsley, mint and tomatoes. Add a dash of salt and pepper. When the couscous is mostly cool, add it to the vegetables. Stir in the salad dressing. Serve at room temperature.
- Serving Size: 4
- Calories: 261
- Sugar: 11
- Sodium: 586
- Fat: 2
- Saturated Fat: 0
- Unsaturated Fat: 1
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 53
- Protein: 9
- Cholesterol: 1
Hey! We do couscous! This looks like a tantalizing new way to do it, too.
Thanks for sharing, Annie.
(And you’ve got me very curious about your mom’s baked rice–’cause I’m really big on brown rice over here. Any chance of sharing that one, too?)
I would be happy to share it except that I don’t have my Joy of Cooking with me (I’m living temporarily in Utah and only brought a few cookbooks with me). You’re in luck if you own a copy! I believe it’s just called Curried Rice. I did a quick online search and didn’t find it. Sorry!
Aw, thank you anyway, Annie! I have the Better Homes Cookbook (which is very useful), but not the Joy. But, you’ve inspired me, just the same.
Good news! Turns out my brother had not one but TWO copies of The Joy of Cooking. Here’s the recipe:
In a large casserole dish, pour 2 cups of hot water over 1/2 cup rice. Place where the rice will stay warm by not cook for 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Add to the rice: 1/2 cup drained, chopped tomatoes; 3/4 tsp. salt; 1/4 cup chopped onion; 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper; 2 tbsp. vegan butter; 3/4 tsp. curry powder.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. All of the water should be absorbed. The Joy of Cooking recommends: Good served with beer.
You are the best, Annie! Thanks so much for going to the trouble to find the recipe and write it out for me–can’t wait to try it, and your couscous, too.
One more thing–are you kidding about the beer? I’m sure that it WOULD go well with beer, but I don’t see that as a JoC recommendation!
It really says it! And I agree with them ;-).
That looks so tasty! I have a feeling that mushrooms would be a nice addition and I love the curryish look of your delicious photos. I was thinking the same as Robin, any chance of your mom’s recipe too? It sounds awesome! 🙂
Mushrooms would be lovely! As I told Robin, I only brought a few cookbooks with me to Utah – and not the Joy of Cooking – which is where the recipe originates. It’s essentially rice, a lot of water/broth, red & green bell peppers, onion and curry powder.
It sounds wonderful!
YUM! I might have to make that tonight!!!
Looks incredible. I love big, israeli couscous!
Me, too! I was so happy when I discovered it!
Thanks for the mention, love!
This looks divine! Love the color and mint! People don’t think to put mint into savory dishes often enough. So yummy!
I had a couscous similar to this in a restaurant once and loved it 😀
Thanks for such a delicious home recipe!
Choc Chip Uru
I love couscous, I love vegetables, and I love spice..so pretty much I love this recipe!
This looks like such beautiful comfort food. Thanks for sharing another great recipe xx
I love creamy curry dishes. They’re kind of like a big hug- so warming and satisfying!
Beautiful, and I know the boy will dig it. My daughter just may forgive me when she sees big Israeli couscous. I’m quite sure I will love it as it looks amazing. Thanks for sharing, dear.
Both this and the baked rice sound amazing! I can smell the curry now.
Great for a quick andhealthy meal. Must try cous cous like this. Sounds lovely!
I looooveeee, love, love, Israeli Couscous. This looks phenomenal! Seems like it could make a great side dish, too.
Did you mention my favorite word: CURRY? Looks scrumptious!
Yep. Curry. I’m irresistibly drawn to it myself.
Why resist….its soooooo wonderful! 🙂
Oh my wow, that looks soooo refreshing and delicious! I’ve only had the large couscous plain before so I’m super keen to try it curried up!
Yum! I’ll try this with quinoa or rice (unfortunately am not a big fan of couscous). Where did you get the yogurt? Whole Foods? Can I use regular coconut milk?
Tried to reply to this earlier, but I guess it didn’t “take!” I’ll bet coconut milk would work just fine, Richgail.
This looks yummy. I don’t do enough with couscous.
I used to make a baked curried rice dish as well. This version is definitely an upgrade! The colors and flavors are bursting out of that photo! It may be making a lunch appearance today if I’m not running around like a chicken with my head cut off. xoxo
Or maybe some cabbage for lunch ;-)?
Oh yes, it was infinitely delicious…. Not 😉 I couldn’t even get it all down. I should have at least sprinkled some sesame seeds on it or something.
Do you think this would work well with quinoa or millet? I’m currently out of couscous.
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