Time: 20 min
For the Spice Blend:
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon white peppercorns
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
2 cardamom pods
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For the Couscous
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Large pinch of saffron (optional)
2 1/4 cups (12 ounces) whole-wheat couscous
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, warmed
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Make the spice blend: Toast the cinnamon stick, both peppercorns, cumin, coriander, allspice, cloves and cardamom in a small dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 2 minutes; let cool. Grind in a spice grinder or mini food processor with the ginger, turmeric, cayenne, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon salt.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks; use leftover spice blend as a rub for meat or fish.
Make the couscous: Heat the butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons spice blend and the saffron, if desired, in a large skillet over medium-high heat until lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Add the couscous and stir until toasted, about 1 minute. Stir in the warm broth, remove from the heat, cover and set aside until the couscous is plump, about 7 minutes. Add the lemon juice and fluff with a fork. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon spice blend.
MR. PORTER AND MS. CHARLES CULINARY CRAVINGS
Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. But, it takes two to tango so stay tuned to see who will master the steam oven first, or whether Mr. Porter or Ms. Charles comes up with the best new recipes.
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