Dried fruit couscous

Sweet couscous is a legacy of Morocco's Jews


Sweet couscous, topped with dried fruit and seasoned with cinnamon, is a legacy of Morocco's Jews. While sweet couscous recipes are occasionally found in the Jewish communities of southern Morocco, for those in northern Morocco - a region near the Straits of Gibraltar once under Spanish rule - it is an all but essential component of their daily cuisine.


● 600g beef suitable for slow cooking, like shoulder or shank
● 2 tbsp olive oil
● 1 onion, finely chopped
● 3 garlic cloves, minced
● 150g prunes, pitted
● 150g dried dates
● 150g dried apricots
● 2 tsp salt
● 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
● 1 tsp cinnamon
● 1½ litre beef stock
● 500g instant couscous, preferably Moroccan
● 40g coarsely chopped toasted almonds


● Cut beef into cubes of about 4cm square.

● Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and sauté the beef cubes on all sides.

● Once they are evenly golden, transfer cubes to a bowl.

● Add onion and garlic to the saucepan and sauté until lightly golden. Return beef to the pot.

● Add dried fruit, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and stock, and bring to a boil.

● Reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours on the lowest heat. If the broth is too thick, add half a cup of water.

● Half an hour before the cooking time ends, place a perforated steamer over the pan.

● Add the couscous to the steamer. Cover and steam the grains for the last 30 minutes.

● Put the couscous in a bowl and mix well with a fork to break up any lumps.

● Spread the couscous on a serving dish, pour the broth on top, garnish with the toasted almonds, and serve.

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