Ever since we bought Ottolenghi's Jerusalem a few months ago we've been addicted to the flavours and smells of the Middle East. I absolutely love the combination of acidity from lemons and yoghurt, sweetness from dried fruit and nuts and the aromas of all those beautiful spices.

Last week we thought it was time for another Middle Eastern culinary adventure and sort of invented this minced lamb and couscous dish. Absolutely delicious and perfect to take to work the next day.


COOKS 20mins

  • 200g couscous
  • 400g minced lamb
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/3 cucumber, diced
  • 3tbsp currants, soaked in hot water
  • 8 dried apricots, cut into small dices
  • small handfull of mint, finely chopped
  • 3tsp ground cumin
  • 2tsp sweet paprika
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp all spice
  • 1tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 red chilli, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • juice of two lemons
  • 1tbsp pine kernels
  • olive oil 
  • salt and pepper
  • tahini to drizzle (optional)

  1. Pre-heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions until soft.
  2. Place the couscous into a large bowl, add 3/4 teaspoon of salt and just cover with boiling water (by approx. 0.5cm). Cover with a plate or lid and set aside.
  3. In a dry pan toast the pine kernels until brown (make sure to take them off once they're brown as they burn so quickly).
  4. Once the onions are soft, make a paste out of the cumin, paprika, cinnamon, all spice, cardamom, chilli, garlic and tomato puree and add to the onions. Fry for a couple of minutes until all is well combined and the aromas start to be released. Add the lamb and fry until brown and cooked all the way through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  5. Mix the currants and apricots into the lamb and give it a good stir. 
  6. Once the couscous has absorbed all the water fluff it up with a fork. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, mint and lamb (including all the juices). Then dress with the lemon juice and a generous amount of olive oil.
  7. Serve drizzled with a little tahini (this is optional and make sure you only use a little because it can get bitter) and topped with some mint and the toasted pine kernels.
This is really nice alongside a sweet glass of Moroccan mint tea. 


  1. I'm suddenly very hungry!

    I found you on the Totally Awesome Blog Hop.

    Winter Moon

  2. It looks amazing! I'm not a huge fan of lamb, but I love all the rest! :)