Introducing Couscous to Maldivian cuisine, I have never seen or heard anyone cooking Couscous here, but I have seen in a TV channel call TLC some of the world famous chefs cooking Couscous in different ways. Four months before I went to do some shopping at a shopping Center called Agora & to my surprise I saw a small box of Couscous but that day I did not buy it. Few days back I went again for shopping & bought 1 small box. This is one of the important foods which must stay in my pantry without running out of it.
Fried tomato Couscous
So the big question will be what is COUSCOUS? Couscous is actually a grain food that is comparable to pasta or rice. It is actually made of semolina wheat that's moistened and then formed into tiny grain shapes. Couscous grains are smaller than rice grains and are dusted with flour so that they can retain structure. It can be interesting to know that couscous is staple food of some regions of the world and is considered like the pasta or rice in some countries. Just like pasta and rice, the couscous can be very versatile in terms of preparation and can be used in various dishes and salads, and they can also be used to prepare side dishes. Couscous is also a very good source of protein, Carbohydrates. The best thing about couscous is that it contains no cholesterol.
Baked Curried Chicken
I cooked fried tomato Couscous for Friday’s special lunch and to go with this Baked curried chicken & Copy Fai (kind of Kale leaf) salad.
Ingredients for Baked Curried Chicken
1 kg whole Chicken (skin removed)
2 medium onions (sliced)
7 garlic cloves (chopped)
11/2 inch ginger (chopped)
2 springs curry leaves
12 pcs 2” + 1 whole pandan leaves
2 tsp Cumin powder
21/2 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp fennel seed powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
31/2 tbs lonumirus chicken curry paste
1 tsp whole pepper
11/2 tbs tomato paste
2 inch cinnamon
3 tbs chilly sauce
1cup thick coconut milk
2 good pinch of dried rosemary (optional)
1/2 of a lime
1/3 cup + 2 tsp vegetable oil
Ingredients for fried tomato CousCous
2tbs chopped onion
1garlic clove (chopped)
1tsp nigella seeds (Kalhu dhiri) optional
1big Tomato (sliced)
Roasted Chicken Curry:_
Make small incisions on the fleshy areas of the chicken (leg, breast). Leave aside.
In a sauce pan heat 1/3 cup vegetable oil. Add onion, chopped ginger, garlic, curry leaves and pandan leaves.
Saute until slightly golden. Take half of the onion mixture into another bowl & leave aside. Add Cumin powder, Coriander powder, fennel seed powder and turmeric powder fry for 2to 3minutes, switch off flame, but don't take the pan out of stove the slight heat is needed yet. Add Lonumirus curry paste whole pepper & fenugreek seeds crushed with your fingers or a grinder, tomato paste and 1tsp salt. Mix everything together. Add 2 tsp oil and again mix.
Now line a baking tray big enough to hold the chicken with aluminum foil. Rub this curry paste on and inside the chicken pushing some paste into the incisions and into the cavity.
When you are finished cut 3 strips of pandan leaf from the whole leaf big enough to tie the chicken. If you don't have a big whole leaf you can do as I did. I knotted three small strips to make a big strip enough to tie the chicken. I made three strips like this. Now tie the chicken with the pandan strips squeezing the legs, the wings inside, so that the flavors will remain inside the chicken.
Cover the tray with plastic wrap or with aluminum foil & leave the chicken in the fridge to marinate for 4 hour's or overnight. Pre Heat the oven to 220C, 15 minutes before baking take the chicken, take out the plastic wrap and sprinkle half of the fried onions which was taken before on to the marinated chicken, put the tray into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, again take the tray out now some oil will be formed in the bottom of the tray.
Pour the coconut milk, sprinkle 1/2tsp salt, dried rosemary & put the cinnamon stick broken in to 2into the curry. Being very careful not to tear the aluminum foil mix everything using a spoon or an egg beater, again put the tray into the oven & leave for 15 minutes again take the tray out mix the tomato sauce and using a spoon scoop spoonful of gravy or curry on the chicken. Like this gos on & in each 15minutes take the tray out from oven pour the curry on the chicken. You can taste the curry at this point & add salt if you need more otherwise keep on baking like this for 11/2hour or until chicken is cooked. when cooked take the tray out squeeze 1/2 of the lime on to the roasted chicken.
Fried tomato CousCous
In sauce pan heat oil, add onion, curry leaves & nigella seeds. Fry for 3minutes until fragrant.
Add the Tomatoes fry for another 2minutes.
Pour water and season with salt, let the water come to boil as soon it starts boiling switch off the flame.
Pour the CousCous & cover the pan with lid. Leave for 5minutes, after 5minutes fluff the couscous with a folk and mix well with the tomatoes......................enjoy a yummy & a healthy meal.