Hurricane Dorian seems to be heading up the East Coast possibly touching the North Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina coasts. Many of those folks may lose their electricity for some time. That got me to thinking that I should share my Couscous Recipe WHICH DOES NOT REQUIRE ELECTRICITY ONCE PREPARED. And for those who are Gluten Free, like wife Debbie, a Gluten-Free version that I have created is also included.
For years, every time we felt that electricity was a possible issue, I have prepared this recipe as part of our preparations because none of the ingredients are perishable. Therefore, while refrigeration probably extends shelf life it is not required, certainly not for the first few days. The recipe also is easy to make, taking no more than 15 minutes in prep time. (the Gluten-Free takes longer to cook, but not much).
CURRIED COUSCOUS SALAD
For the Salad:
Dry Couscous – 1 package is usually about 2 Cups but depends on brand
Dark Raisins – 1 cup
Golden Raisins – 1 cup
Fresh Carrots – 5 whole – diced
Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) – 1 can -drained and thoroughly rinsed with water
Green Pepper – 1 medium diced
Green Onions – 1 small bunch – sliced
Cran-Raisins – 1 cup – substitute for dark raisins or ½ cup as an addition
For the Dressing:
Olive Oil – 3/4 Cup
Lemon Juice – 1/2 Cup
Sugar- 3 Tsp
Sea Salt – 1/2 Tsp
Black Pepper – 1/2 Tsp
All Spice – 1/2 Tsp
Curry Powder – 8 Tsp
Prepare the Couscous as directed on the Package. If the package doesn’t mention it, add 1 tbs
of Olive Oil to water, and use a whisk to integrate oil into water before boiling to reduce sticking.
While the couscous is cooking, in a smaller mixing bowl or large measuring cup add the Olive
Oil, Lemon Juice, Sugar, Allspice, Curry Powder, Salt and Pepper. Using a whisk, thoroughly mix the ingredients and let stand a few minutes to blend the flavors. (Then whisk liquids again before adding to the other ingredients.)
After the Couscous is prepared, let it cool at least partially, and then transfer to a large Bowl. Add the diced carrots and any other of the vegetables mentioned above. Also, add the raisins. Using a large wooden spoon partially mix the ingredients into the couscous.
After whisking the Dressing ingredients, and letting the mix settle a bit, I suggest you taste the mix to see if it suits you. Remember, without the couscous it will be concentrated. Adjust the spices, if for example you used the mild curry, but like a stronger curry flavor without the heat. If you find the mix has too much of a lemony flavor, you can add another tsp of sugar. Also note, if you do not eat the salad until the next day, I have noticed that the lemon flavor seems to at least partially disappear. I call it, settling down!
After this flavor checking and possible flavor adjustments, pour the dressing into the large bowl which contains the vegetable/raisin and couscous mixture. After mixing the dressing in with the other ingredients the last step is to fold the chickpeas in to make a complete dish.
NOTE: With respect to the curry, there are many curry powders – mild, hot, normal and I have found surprisingly large differences between the different brands. Also, as with all spices, the strength reduces if the spice is a bit older, possibly requiring the use of a bit more curry powder or Allspice. I use regular or mild curry powder because Debbie has stomach issues with the hotter versions.
ALSO, 1 PERSONAL NOTE: We like a lot of curry flavor, so the recipe reflects that. If you don’t,
you might want to cut back on the curry powder.
NOW THE GLUTEN-FREE VERSION
To make the gluten-free version, substitute Quinoa for the couscous. Follow the package directions including the olive oil suggestion above.
I have found that it is best to increase the amount of Dressing ingredients in the Gluten-Free recipe as follows:
Virgin Olive Oil – 1 1/4 Cup
Lemon Juice – 1/2 Cup
Sugar – 3 Tsp
Sea Salt – 3/4 Tsp
Black Pepper – 3/4 Tsp
All Spice – 1 Tsp
Curry Powder – 10-12 Tsp
All other ingredients the same as the non-gluten-free recipe.
As in the original recipe, taste check the dressing to see if it is to your liking. Since this recipe gives you more liquid, you may reserve a little to be used the 2d or 3d day if the salad seems dry. I have noticed that the Quinoa seems too.
As mentioned earlier, you can refrigerate the salad, but it is not necessary. None
of the ingredients are perishable in either version!