Vegetable Couscous (version II)

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 eggplant, cut into large cubes
2 zucchinis, cut into chunks
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 pint sieved canned tomatoes
1/2 cup vegetable stock
6 ounces canned chick peas, drained
2 ounces 'no need to soak' dried apricots, sliced
8 ounces couscous
2 teaspoons harissa paste
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

1 Heat the olive oil in a deep saucepan and gently fry the onion and garlic until soft and golden. Add the aubergine, courgettes and red pepper and fry gently, stirring occasionally, for five minutes.

2 Stir in all the spices and cook gently for one minute. Add the passata and the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir in the chick peas and apricots. Simmer for 20~25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has reduced.

3 About ten minutes before serving, put the couscous in a colander lined with a J-cloth and place above the simmering vegetables.

4 Fork through the couscous to separate the grains and fluff it up. Spoon it onto the warmed serving plates. Mix the harissa paste with a little of the sauce, and either hand round separately or stir back into the vegetable stew. Check the seasoning and serve with the couscous, sprinkled with coriander.

Serves four.

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