Chargrilled veggies and couscous
100 gm couscous
2 tbsp raisins or sultanas
1 each: red and yellow capsicum (quartered lengthwise, seeded)
4 zucchinis (sliced; lengthwise or in circles)
2 long spring onion stalks (trimmed, sliced with good green stems)
6-8 cherry tomatoes (halved)
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
Lemon juice of one lemon
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt + pepper + dried crushed mint
Put couscous and raisins in a bowl. Pour over 150 ml of boiling water. Stir to incorporate. Cover bowl and allow to stand for five to ten minutes; or until water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Stir in spring onion, coriander and lemon juice. Season generously and add salt to taste; bearing balsamic vinegar in mind; then leave aside; covered. Brush prepared capsicum, zucchini and tomato with one spoonful of oil. Preheat grill on high. Place capsicum quarters on the grill; skin side down; until charred with black marks; (approximately 5 minutes). Remove and add zucchini slices. You can grill capsicum and zucchini together; without crowding the grill; if there is enough room for one spaced up layer. When charred, remove grilled capsicum and zucchini on to a bowl and cover. Place tomato halves on the grill; skin side down as well. Meanwhile, peel off flimsy membrane on capsicum. When tomato is collapsed; remove on to the bowl with capsicum and zucchini. Gently stir in balsamic vinegar to all grilled vegetables. Mix to incorporate. Add to couscous and gently mix with veggies. Add remaining spoonful of oil. Mix to integrate ingredients. Spoon the couscous on to a serving plate and top with the chopped coriander. Serve immediately.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 31 March, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.