spiced couscous

Couscous is definitely a summer staple in my household. I’ve said before how much I love to make salads at this time of the year, so experimenting with different flavours, recipes and ingredients for them is something I love to do at the moment. When it comes to salads, I often like to mix and match different foods and transform them into a big, mixed bowl full of different flavours. Usually, I prepare different things – like grains, pastas, roasted vegetables, dressings and dips ahead of time, and then merge them all together for a comforting dinner.

One of the dishes I really enjoy making is for a spiced couscous. It’s such a simple thing to make, and only takes about 10 minutes to prepare. All you need to do is cook your couscous (I’ve used both maize and wheat couscous before), and mix all of the spices together. Then, just fold the spice paste mix into the couscous and it’s done!

This makes such a great addition to salad bowls, and I love serving it with hummus, roasted vegetables, salad vegetables, dressing, some veggie curry or tagine. In my opinion, it works best with moister foods, so things with sauces and dressings etc. are great, or even roasted vegetables, as they really help to bring out it’s spices and flavours. As well as in salads, it also makes a nice accompaniment to dishes with mild sauces, Moroccan foods, tagine, some kebab skewers, or barbecues – you name it. I think you could even add things to it as well, like some fried onions, chopped dried apricots, raisins or slivered almonds. It’s a very versatile dish, and I think you could serve it however and with whatever you like! Enjoy.

spiced couscous

serves 2-4


for the couscous:

1 cup (150g) couscous (I used maize)

for the spice paste mix:

1 tbsp + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tbsp tahini

1 tsp tomato puree

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp chilli powder

1/4 tsp salt

pepper, to taste


1. Firstly, prepare the spice paste mix. Add the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, tomato puree, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, paprika, ginger, chilli, salt and pepper into a bowl. Then, stir all of the ingredients together into smooth and well mixed paste, and set aside.

2. Next, prepare the couscous according to the instructions on the packet. Then, when the couscous is done, transfer it into a bowl, and scoop the spice mixture on top. Next, stir the paste into the couscous until well mixed and evenly covers it. Then, serve with whatever else you like.

IMG_7819 IMG_7850-2 IMG_7853-2 IMG_7865

49 thoughts on “spiced couscous

  1. Wow, I’m most definitely making this, Harriet! I used to love couscous and have only seen a rice version from the gf options — I had no idea there’s a maize option too. Will definitely look out for it now. This looks absolutely delicious! ♥

    1. Thank you so much Audrey! I hope you enjoy it! I’ve never heard of the rice version before – I’ll have to try that next time 🙂

  2. this looks delicious! I also love the object (i don’t know what to call it) that the plate is sitting on haha! xx, kenz

    1. Thank you Kenz!! Haha I’m glad you like it!! 🙂 xx

  3. Definitely going to give this a try!! xx


    1. Thank you Steph! I hope you enjoy it! xx

  4. Loved the spices you used! So beautiful and fragrant!

    1. Thank you Rebecca!! Glad you like it!

  5. ooh it looks so good!!

    1. Thank you Sofia!! 🙂

  6. Couscous is one of my favorites! But I’ve never done anything like that spice paste mix with it – definitely trying this out!

    1. Same here Ashley! Thank you! I hope you like it 🙂

  7. Ooooo~ cous cous is one of my favourite side dishes too! I like to put sultanas and nuts in and make some kind of vegie tomato stew to spoon all over the top. I love the flavours that you mixed through! X

    1. Oooh that sounds soo tasty – I’m going to have to make some stew to go with this! Thank you so much! 🙂 x

  8. Sounds perfect, Harriet! Love couscous and the spice mixture you’ve used! Yum!! 😀 x

    1. Thank you so much Nadia! x

  9. Ahhh, this would be the perfect side dish! :]! It looks so flavorful! <3 I've still never actually made anything with couscous, but that's going to have to change shortly! :O

    1. Thank you so much Farrah! So glad you like it – I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

  10. Love couscous, but rarely make it! Love the spices ! Need to make it soon!

    1. Same here Mira! Thank you – I hope you like it!

  11. been so long I had couscous! I need to make it soon, thanks for the inspiration! sounds yum!

    1. You’re welcome! I hope you like it! Thank you 🙂

  12. Nice! It would not have occurred to me to make spiced couscous, but I love couscous, so why not. I’m banging my head on the wall wondering why I didn’t think of it.

    1. Haha, love it Kristi! You’ll have to try this! Thank you 🙂

  13. This cous cous looks and sounds divine. I sure love my Middle Eastern flavours so I definitely have to make this recipe.

    1. Thank you Thalia, same here!

  14. Wow, Harriet! This spiced couscous looks and sounds absolutely delicious! Looks so flavorful and inviting. Will be making soon for sure! YUMMY!

    1. Thank you so much Anu! I hope you like it!

  15. This looks so delicious, Harriet! 🙂 I can never get enough of couscous!

    1. Thank you Sina, same here!!

  16. This looks sooo delicious. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you Jenn! I hope you enjoy it 🙂

  17. This looks so delicious with all the spices you have used here.

  18. I haven’t had couscous in such a long time. But you’ve just made me excited to make some very soon. I also love how your photos look of this as well. Beautiful.

    Kia / The House of KTS

    1. Thank you so much Kia, so happy you like it! 🙂

  19. Gorgeous photos! I love all the spices you use in your foods. They sound so mouthwatering delicious! I’m not sure why I don’t make couscous more often. I even have a bag in my pantry…I guess it was just waiting for this recipe, haha! Thanks for sharing, friend!

    1. Thank you so much Joscelyn, you are so kind!! Let me know if you try it! I hope you enjoy it 🙂

  20. This sounds delicious Harriet. I love the spices in this couscous recipe. It would be perfect with grilled veggies.

    1. Thank you Linda! Yes definitely 🙂

  21. I love spiced couscous! Yours looks so tasty, Harriet. I also love how you managed to mix the paste in without smashing the couscous; they still look so perfect and gorgeous. Thank you for sharing this recipe, it’s definitely one that I would love to make this summer!

    1. Me too, Beeta! Thank you so much!! I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

  22. This looks amazing! I love couscous but have never added any spices to it. It sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try this!

    1. Thank you so much Kelly!! I really hope you enjoy it! 🙂

  23. Oh I love couscous so much Harriet and this looks just amazing. So light and fluffy and you used all of my favorite spices. I bet it has a wonderful smoky flavor thanks to the cumin. I definitely need to try this, it has been so long since I’ve had couscous! It’s just perfection!!

    1. Same here, Brandi! Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy it 🙂

  24. Nice one!! I just started to play around a little with couscous. Like how to get it nice and fluffy all the time. This would be the next step. Plain couscous can indeed be a little boring. Thanks for the inspiration, Harriet!

    1. Thank you Howie! Yes, it’s such a versatile ingredient, so there are so many ways you can liven it up!!

  25. Hi Harriet,
    This looks gorgeous, ! Loved the spices you have used! Thank you for sharing this perfect, excellent, flavourful couscous recipe. would love to make this very soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *