When the sun comes out, I’m reminded of travels to warmer climes and the deliciously spiced food I have enjoyed there, like this Moroccan Shrimp and Couscous. It takes very little time to prepare making it perfect for those days when you don’t want to heat up the kitchen. It also adds a ray of sunshine to rainy days with the warm spicing which you can customise to suit your family.
An Easy Supper for Weeknights and Entertaining
Moroccan Shrimp and Couscous makes a fabulous midweek supper for four and the easily multiplied recipe is also perfect for entertaining. You can adjust the spicing to suit your taste – I tend to err on the side of mild – but you can add more harissa if you are braver than I am.
Harissa is a spice paste from North Africa. A blend of tomato paste or puree, peppers, dried red chilies, olive oil, garlic, caraway seeds, ground cumin and coriander (cilantro), harissa can be very fiery. However, used carefully, it adds the most wonderful flavour to vegetables, meat, fish and grains.
Moroccan Shrimp with Couscous
My Moroccan Shrimp and Couscous entails very little hard work. A bit of light peeling and slicing, some quick sautéing and that’s about it.
Making Moroccan Shrimp and Couscous
After sautéing the onion, peppers and garlic in olive oil and adding the chick peas, you simply tip in the couscous, add some hot chicken stock along with half the harissa and clamp on the lid. Let everything sit off the heat for five minutes so the can absorb the stock.
Meanwhile, fry the shrimp in some butter with the rest of the harissa, a pinch of salt and a good few twists of freshly ground pepper.
Divide the couscous mixture between four plates and top with the shrimp.
Dinner is served! An ice cold glass of sauvignon blanc is wonderful with this dish. The gooseberry flavours in the wine compliment the spices beautifully, without being overwhelmed by them. A nice crisp rosé works well too, especially on a hot summer night.
Moroccan Shrimp and Couscous – Printable Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, red if possible, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 can chick peas (approximately 400 grams or 14 ounces) drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon harissa, divided
- ¾ cup couscous
- 1 cup hot chicken stock (made from a cube is fine)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- about 24 large raw shrimp, de-veined
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh, or dried, chives
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté for a minute or so.
- Stir in the red pepper slices and continue to cook until the onion and red pepper have softened, but not browned.
- Grate in the garlic and stir in the chick peas.
- Add the couscous and cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly.
- Stir in the hot chicken stock and half a teaspoon of the harissa, clamp on the lid and remove the pan from the heat.
- Set the timer for five minutes.
- Heat the butter in a frying pan over medium heat.
- Stir in the remaining half teaspoon harissa.
- Fry the shrimp until pink throughout.
- Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the chives.
- Run a fork through the couscous and taste for seasoning, adding more pepper if necessary. Divide between four plates.
- Top each serving of couscous with about six shrimp.