Fragrant spices and an aromatic combination of nutty couscous, roasted sweet potatoes, spicy chickpeas and a fresh herb yoghurt sauce. This Moroccan couscous with roasted sweet potatoes tastes sensationally delicious and incorporates the flavors of the Orient and 1001 Nights.
The oriental cuisine is food that stimulates all senses and triggers a true explosion of flavours in the mouth. I often miss that in our local cuisine. Don’t get me wrong, I also like German cuisine very much. But in comparison to the oriental, Indian or Asian cuisine we Germans traditionally use much fewer spices. But spices are what makes cooking so appealing for me.
I love to play with different spices and flavors. Like Harissa, for example, which I use in this recipe to season the couscous. Harissa is a hot Maghreb spice paste made from fresh chilies, cumin, coriander seeds, garlic, salt and olive oil. It tastes typically oriental.
Moroccan couscous and sweet potato – a delicious combination
I have to admit, I’m crazy about couscous and sweet potato. So this Moroccan couscous with roasted sweet potatoes is just what I like. The yoghurt sauce with lemon and my favorite herbs – fresh coriander, mint and parsley – give this dish a fresh taste. In addition, crunchy pomegranate seeds give off a sweet and at the same time bitter taste when you bite on them. This is delicious soul food, with which you do something good for your body and your soul!
And the big advantage: this dish is also healthy and satisfying. Because this Moroccan couscous with roasted sweet potatoes provides you with iron, vitamin B, calcium, protein and vitamin A. I think it’s another proof that vegan recipes don’t have to be boring. When choosing ingredients, pay attention to high quality and tasty flavors. The herbs and spices then take care of the rest.
Couscous is a dish of North African cuisine. It develops a nutty-sweet aroma when cooked. The basis for couscous consists of moistened semolina made from durum wheat, barley or millet, ground into small beads. In the supermarkets, however, you will find mostly the couscous made from durum wheat. If you suffer from celiac disease, you can simply replace couscous with millet, which is gluten-free. Like all cereal products, couscous is a substantial dish with a high content of carbohydrates and correspondingly many calories. But the good news is that couscous contains little fat and plenty of fiber.
Roasted sweet potatoes give a sweet taste
Moroccan couscous harmonizes perfectly with roasted sweet potatoes. They develop a sweet taste when cooked in the oven. Sweet potatoes are also very healthy because they contain little fat and many minerals and vitamins. The beta-carotene content is almost as high as in carrots and has a positive effect on our eyesight, protects our cells and strengthens the immune system. The tubers also contain plenty of fat-soluble vitamin E, which ensures firm skin and protects the cells from premature aging.
Sweet potatoes also contain a lot of fiber, which ensures that they satisfy the appetite for longer than conventional potatoes. The glycemic index of sweet potatoes is also lower, which means that blood sugar levels do not rise as quickly after eating sweet potatoes.
In addition, unlike potatoes, sweet potatoes do not form solanine in their skins. The skin can therefore be eaten without any problems. On the contrary, you should absolutely eat it. Because the peel contains the secondary plant material Caiapo, which helps with anaemia and diabetes.
If you don’t like sweet potatoes or just don’t have them at home, that’s no problem. Because you can replace them with roasted beetroot, parsnips or carrots. Pumpkin is also a delicious alternative.
The roasted chickpeas harmonize perfectly with the flavors of the Moroccan cuisine. Because they have a very mild, slightly nutty aroma and contain lots of protein. Chickpeas ensure that your body gets enough protein without eating meat or other animal products. They are also a good source of magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and contain lots of fiber, vitamin E and iron. But for iron to be well absorbed by the body, it should always be combined with vitamin C. This is assured in this dish with the pomegranate seeds.
Pomegranates are a real superfood
Pomegranates have been cultivated in the Mediterranean region and the Middle East for thousands of years and are often combined with hearty dishes in oriental cuisine. The bitter-sweet note of the ruby red seeds goes very well with couscous and sweet potatoes. In Germany, pomegranates are served as winter fruits because they can be stored for a long time. They can be stored at room temperature for several weeks.
Pomegranates are also a real superfood. They provide minerals such as potassium, trace elements such as iron and B vitamins and are full of polyphenols. These are aromatic compounds that are classified as secondary plant substances. The juice of the pomegranate contains up to 20 different very healthy polyphenols, more than any other food.
But now I’ve had enough of babbling about the benefits of this incredibly delicious dish. Try it yourself and taste the flavors of the Orient.
Moroccan couscous with roasted sweet potatoes, chickpeas and herb yoghurt
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 1 can chickpeas
- ½ tsp smoked paprika powder
- 70 g couscous
- 1 tsp Harissa
- 1 teaspoon vegetable stock
- salt and pepper
- ½ pomegranate
For the yogurt sauce:
- 200 g vegan yoghurt natural and unsweetened
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ bunch fresh coriander
- ½ bunch fresh mint
- ½ bunch fresh parsley
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 250°C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Cut the sweet potatoes lengthwise into wedges. In a bowl, mix the sweet potato wedges, 1 tablespoon olive oil, the thyme leaves and the chilli flakes.
- In a second bowl mix the chickpeas with 1 tablespoon olive oil, smoked paprika and some salt.
- Place the sweet potatoes on one of the prepared baking trays so that they do not lie on top of each other and season with salt and pepper to taste. Then roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes in the upper third until they are soft and slightly brown at the corners.
- In the meantime, place the chickpeas on the second baking tray. Once the sweet potatoes have been roasted for about 10 minutes, add the chickpeas in the oven. Roast everything until the vegatables are chrisp on the outside. Afterwards take the baking trays out of the oven and put them aside.
- While the vegetables are roasting, place the couscous with the vegetable stock and harissa in a bowl. Pour 1.5 times the amount of boiling water over it. Leave to soak for 5 to 10 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. Stir occasionally.
- In the meantime prepare the yoghurt sauce. Chop the herbs finely and mix with the remaining ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Cut the pomegranate into quarters and remove the pomegranate seeds. My tip: fill a large bowl with water and dissolve the seeds under water. This will help you to avoid red splashes on your clothes and the fine skin will also be easier to remove from the seeds.
- Arrange the couscous on a plate. Place roasted sweet potatoes and the chickpeas on top. Then spread the yoghurt sauce over it and garnish with fresh mint and pomegranate
If you liked this recipe for Moroccan Couscous you may also like one of these other Moroccan recipes:
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