This stew is designed to be eaten with couscous and is very liquid; the couscous will absorb the excess liquid. The vegetables are cut into large chunks as they are simmered for quite a while during the cooking process.
The stew is all about the sauce that the vegetables and any meat you use are cooked in. You can decide what vegetables and meat you use but a good variety of vegetables gives the whole thing a bit of colour.
The dried fruit really brings the stew to life and adds a pleasant sweetness.
Use any vegetables you like, the more the merrier!
One large onion.
One large Carrot
Sweet potato (This will fall during the cooking process and thickens the stew a little)
Red and Green Peppers
Three cloves garlic
Handful dried Apricots
Handful dried Dates
One can chopped tomato
One can Chick Peas
Meat to suit. (A chicken or eight or so lamb chops) This is optional, this dish can be made as a vegetarian dish, the flavour is still amazing!)
Peel the onion and cut it in half.
Chop one half
finely, the other coarsely ( 1.5 cm cubes)
Dice the carrot finely (4 mm cubes)
Sautee the carrot in a little olive oil for four to five minutes
Add the onion and continue to sautee until the onion becomes clear.
Add the can of Tomatoes and the can of Chick Peas to the pan and stir.
Add two teaspoons of Harrarat to the mixture.
Coarsely chop the vegetables and add to the pan (the veg will be simmered for an hour and a half so make sure that the pieces are large so that they don't fall during the cooking process)
Cut the dried fruit in half
Add the dried fruit to the pan.
If using meat, add the meat.
Add water to ensure that the vegetables (and meat) are covered.
Simmer for around 90 minutes.
Couscous: Take one cupful of couscous and place in bowl. Dribble about a desert spoon of oil onto the couscous and then stir the couscous with a fork until all the couscous has a coating of oil. Add one third of a cup of boiling water to the couscous and stir in using a fork. Place the couscous into a sieve and put it over the pan of simmering vegetables to allow it to steam. Use a fork to move the couscous round in the sieve, pull the couscous up the sides of the sieve to allow the steam to get through the couscous. The couscous will take around 20 minutes to cook.
Take one cinnamon stick, 4 tea spoons of Cumin, 4 teaspoons of Coriander seeds, 2 teaspoons of dried Bird's Eye Chiles and 1 Teaspoon of All spice.
Grind all the spices finely and place in a jar with a sealable lid. The spice mix keeps well for two to three months.