Mussels with Spiced Israeli Couscous

, from Issue #53. September, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Mussels with Spiced Israeli Couscous

Israeli couscous is a great store cupboard staple and absorbs all the flavours of the sauce.

Serves: 4


1¼ cups Israeli couscous
24 fresh mussels, scrubbed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon each ground cinnamon and chilli flakes
½ cup water
1 x 400 gram tin cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

To serve
lemon wedges
crusty bread


Cook the couscous in plenty of boiling salted water until just tender, about 20-25 minutes. Drain well and set aside. If cooking ahead toss with a little olive oil.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion with a good pinch of salt. Cover and cook until tender. Add the garlic and all the spices and cook for 1 minute. Add the water and let it bubble up then add the tomatoes and bring to the boil. Season.

Nestle the mussels into the tomato mixture, cover and simmer. As the mussels open, transfer them to a bowl and cover to keep warm. Discard any mussels that don’t open. Stir the couscous into the sauce and heat until hot.

To serve: Divide the couscous between bowls and top with the mussels. I like to remove some from their shells for serving. Scatter with parsley and serve with lemon wedges and crusty bread.