14 July 2009

Couscous with roasted vegetables - Happiness in minutes

Sorry, sorry, sorry - for this long absence from the blog. Each time I thought it was time to get back here, something would come up and I would think that deserved more priority. Now I realize, that with a baby on hands, baby will always be priority, but I've got to assign some degree of priority to other things in life as well, blog included.

Today was a nearly perfect day - with things going as planned, rains generously hitting the city, water crisis in the house somewhat better, chores getting done before schedule and one dirty window sill cleared of pigeon droppings, and me managing to catch 2 episodes of Jeeves and Wooster in the afternoon while Atri was sleeping. And hey, the little boy entertained himself with a kitchen towel, a tomato and a cooker-vessel. Was that a sign??

If so many nice things in one day could not propel me to start posting on this beloved food blog, then probably nothing could. Besides, what I cooked this evening for supper turned out so colourful and camera friendly, especially to a person behind the camera who off late has been clicking just her baby.

It's a simple couscous and veggies, one plate dish - very high on the health quotient and surprisingly high on taste factor too....in short it is a speedy way to make ourselves happy at dinner time. You can choose any variety of squash on hand as an addition along with any number of fresh herbs as a garnish. I used what I had on hand and the result has turned out superb. Next time I will also consider throwing in some eggplant wedges to roast along with the other veggies. I have added Nutrela granules to up the protein content, but it is optional.

Another view of dinner tonight

Couscous with roasted vegetables
Makes one generous plate
Time taken - Under 30 minutes, but under 5-7 minutes of active time

1/2 cup couscous
2 tbsp Nutrela granules
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 - 2 cups boiling hot water

1 tbsp olive oil
4-5 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1 medium carrot - peeled, cut into diagonal slices
1/2 medium beet - peeled, cut into diagonal slices
1 medium green bell pepper - cut into strips
1 small onion - peeled, cut into thick slices
1/4 cup shredded cabbage
Handful of frozen peas
2-3 green chillies, whole
1 tsp dried oregano (I used one sachet of oregano seasoning that comes in with pizza delivery)
Fresh basil leaves and freshly ground black pepper to garnish

Couscous with roasted vegetables

Place the couscous, Nutrela granules and salt in a large bowl and pour a cup and a half of boiling water on the top. Mix with a fork, cover and let it sit for 5 minutes. If it gets too dry, add some more water, cover and wait a few more minutes, before fluffing up with a fork. Keep aside.

In a large skillet, heat a tbsp or more of olive oil. Throw in smashed garlic cloves, let them turn light brown on a medium flame. Next add all veggies except frozen peas (if using fresh shelled peas, then add that in along with the rest). Turn them around on a medium-high flame for 2-3 minutes. The veggies must not overcrowd the skillet - let them be spread out in a layer as they get roasted on a low to medium flame for 7-10 minutes.

Season with salt, pepper and oregano. You can add some chilli flakes for extra spice.

Spread the couscous on a large plate and transfer the roasted veggies over it. Flavour with some extra virgin olive oil on top, fresh basil leaves and more freshly cracked pepper.

Dig in.


Aparna said...

Welcome back. Nothing quite like colourful and healthy one dish meals, I say. Less work all around. :)

Atri is such a darling in those pics. I remember, at this age they're happier with things from the kitchen. Wait till he starts getting around. Then you'll be very busy!
And yes, once you have a kid, the kid always comes first, even when they're grown up! Just the way things are.

Anjali said...

Hi Nandita!

So happy to see you back and enjoying posting. Good to hear about Atri and his inherited interests in the DNA :)

The dish looks wonderful more like a couscous salad.

I am sure you are taking good care of yourself. I need not tell a doc;)

Jayashree said...

Welcome back. That's one colourful and yummy looking dish.

Nupur said...

Welcome back, Nandita! The roasted vegetables look very tempting!
I'm sure you are waiting for Atri to grow up a little so you will have your own little sous-chef :)

Lakshmi Venkatesh said...

Welcome back. Yours was one among the few blogs which I used to visit very often when I had discovered food blogs. Happy to see you back.

I like the taste of couscous and that to with roasted veggies. yummy.

Kamini said...

It's always worth the long wait to read your posts! This dish looks yummy enough to eat right off the screen!
So nice to read about little Atri - as Nupur said, he will one day be a wonderful sous-chef for you!

Cynthia said...

Oh Nandita! Now that is a plate fit for a feast. Just look at those colours.

Nandita said...

Aparna - one dish meals are the only ones possible these days, especially dinner, when I can't wait to crash :)

Anjali - too early to say, but I'll be happy if he's interested in cooking as well :) I'm taking as good care of myself as I can without overdosing on food :)

Jayashree, Nupur - thanks! Nupur, you bet!

Lakshmi - i'm glad to be back myself, just hope I can sustain this.

Kamini - missed reading your blog all these days, have to get back. Lost all my bookmarks somewhere in the middle.

CYnthia - Loved the colours myself - egged me to finally take a food-photo...hope your book is doing very well!

Dee said...

congratulations on the arrival of your little baby nandita :) glad to see you blogging again !

Lazy Blogger said...

A new baby! Thats wonderful, congrats :-) As an expecting gal myself, it would be wonderful if we could hear snippets about your life as a mom. Have fun and take care!

Raaga said...

welcome back!

I make this stuff very often... the base is usually dalia or cornmeal... should try it with couscous :) In winters, this becomes such a colourful dish :)

Nirmala said...

Hi Nandita,

I made this dish last night for dinner and it was delicious. I had missed out on beets since I did not have it at home.

Thanks for sharing this recipe !!

AMIT said...

Again a very good yummy recipe from you.

Lingerie news

Preeti Kashyap said...

this is so yummm and colorful. Great Click!

radha said...

I tried a different variation - I washed wheat rawa and along with a little water put in a vessel and pressure cooked it ( at the same time I kept rice). The steamed rawa I used to make the upma. I thought it was a good idea rather boil or make it like the regular upma. Thought I would share it with you. Nice blog you have here.

Jagruti said...

Also you can add round cut eggplant and courgatte in roasting veg.

Turmericnspice said...

Such a colorful dish...full of healthy goodness. We love your blog name...

vinniedpooh said...

what is couscous

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