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Moroccan Lamb and Seven-Vegetable Couscous

Servings: 6 to 8

This traditional dish is served as the centerpiece of every festive and celebratory meal in North African communities around the world, from weddings to funerals, for the feast of the Muslim Ramadan, or for the main course of the Jewish Shabbat meal. In my home, I often prepare this warming dish for hearty and healthful family dinners.


  • 2 lb. boneless lamb, such as shoulder or leg, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil; more as needed
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ras el hanout
  • 1/4 tsp. saffron threads
  • 1 15-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2-1/2 cups lower-salt chicken or vegetable broth; more as needed
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 large turnip, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 large Japanese eggplant, halved lengthwise then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices, or 1 medium regular eggplant, quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 8 oz. pumpkin or similar squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 cups couscous
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro; more for garnish
  • Harissa, for serving

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 580
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 220
  • Fat (g): 25
  • Saturated Fat (g): 10
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9
  • Cholesterol (mg): 85
  • Sodium (mg): 510
  • Carbohydrates (g): 58
  • Fiber (g): 10
  • Sugar (g): 14
  • Protein (g): 32


  • Pat the lamb dry with paper towels. Generously sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • In a large Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Working in batches, add the meat in a single layer, and sear, adding more oil as needed, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the lamb to a plate as it becomes done. Lower the heat to medium, and return the lamb and any accumulated juices to the pot. Add the coriander, cumin, ras el hanout, and saffron, and toss to evenly coat the lamb. Continue to cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 45 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and skim any foam from the surface of the broth. Add the carrots, turnip, eggplant, pumpkin, onion, and raisins. Cook, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, 14 to 15 minutes. Add the zucchini and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini begins to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the chickpeas and stir gently to combine. Continue to cook, 5 to 7 minutes more. Stir in 1 Tbs. of the butter until melted, and set aside.
  • Prepare the couscous according to package directions, adding the remaining 1 Tbs. butter and 1 tsp. salt to the water (alternatively, prepare the couscous with broth instead of water).
  • Just before serving, toss the couscous with the cilantro. Mound the couscous on a large platter topped with the vegetables and meat, garnish with more cilantro, if you like, and serve with harissa on the side.


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Reviews (6 reviews)

  • jrkent | 12/09/2020

    My lamb leg was closer to 4lbs so I doubled the spices to 2 tsp. each and used a 28oz can crushed tomatoes. I would definitely serve with harissa, I made my own and the roasted pepper flavor was a nice addition to the final dish. Overall it was delicious and something different.

  • carlosnsd | 10/28/2019

    Wow!!! Definitely a repeat. Ordered the Ras El Hanout from Amazon, as I couldn't find it locally. First time cooking lamb also. I cooked in a large Dutch Oven following the recipe. Only change was a little more broth (maybe more like 3 cups). Things I noticed that I think will help others: be sure to bring it down to a simmer before closing the lid. The meat will braise for 45 minutes, you don't want to keep opening the lid and/or add liquid. And the vegetables towards the end may look as though they will not cook but trust the author's timing, they will turn out perfect!!

  • User avater
    ArmandLewis | 10/04/2019

    Very nice, my mouth watering!

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