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Spiced Pearl Couscous with Pine Nuts

Total Time

Prep/Total Time:30 min.


4 servings

This side dish is great for entertaining, as you can prepare the topping ahead of time, and the couscous only takes only minutes. Try adding 1 cup drained and rinsed garbanzo beans to boost the protein! —Cindy Beberman, Orland Park, Illinois


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-3/4 cups finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked pearl (Israeli) couscous
  • 1-3/4 cups water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup dried currants
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Lemon wedges, optional


  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions; cook and stir 6-8 minutes or until tender. Add couscous; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until couscous is lightly browned.
  2. Add water, salt, cinnamon, curry powder, cumin and coriander; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 7-10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender. Stir in currants, cilantro, mint and lemon zest; let stand 5 minutes Fluff with a fork. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts. If desired, serve with lemon wedges.

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