Algerian Stew for Couscous

Total Time
2hrs 10mins
Prep 10 mins
Cook 2 hrs

This is our family's traditional recipe, usually served with plain steamed couscous. As it takes quite a while, it is always a big event, everyone loves it! This is my first recipe, so be kind!! NOTE: If you cannot find Ras el Hanout in the stores, there are some recipes here on zaar! It is a mixture made of cumin, coriander, cinnamon, pepper and other spices. It can be omitted in this recipe, just go a little heavier on the other spices mentioned and add a pinch of cinnamon!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot, e.g. one for soup. Add the onion and the meat and let it take some colour.
  2. Add enough water or broth to cover the meat, usually about 1 liter. Stir in the spices.
  3. Add the chickpeas right now, or they will never become soft!
  4. Let it simmer on low for about 1 hour.
  5. After 1 hour, add the vegetables, make sure everything is slightly covered with water/broth. Let simmer for another hour.
  6. After these two hours, vegetables should be soft, and you should be able to tear apart the meat with a spoon, as this is how it is eaten!
  7. Check for seasoning and serve with steamed couscous!
Most Helpful

I usually put meat for 1 hour, then add carrots and potatoes for ~40 min, then add zuchini for 20min (1 hour is too much for zucchini and will make them melt. I also prefer green over squash).

You can also add turnips with potatoes and carrots (my american wife loves them).

jambonbeur April 25, 2012

Thank you Halalmom for such an easy to put together couscous stew recipe. I added a traditional Egyptian spice mix as I haven't come across the Ras El Hanout here. My family prefer chicken with couscous and loved the delicious sauce. I added a good handful of raisins and waited for the raves. This even tasted delicious for lunch the next day. I steamed my Rose Blanche couscous, it turned out light and fluffy. A truly authentic delicious meal. I will certainly be making this again.

Scots Lass/Cairo June 03, 2007

Well at last I have found a recipe which mentions STEAMED COUS COUS. Everytime I see 'pour boiling water on the cous cous and let stand' I fell I might explode! I use a similar recipe but omit the curry & coriander - I use double the ras el hanout. In addition I use 2 cloves of garlic, 2 medium quartered potatoes and a tin of tomatos. I use 2 carrots and 2 zucchini so I add a large stick of celery or 'khorchef' and a few pieces of turnip/parsnip etc. I use the pressure cooker which makes 2 hours cooking reduce to 45 mins or so and the meat just melts! Rezika

Um Safia June 02, 2007