Moroccan Sweet Couscous with Dried Fruits and Nuts

DriedFruitNutsCouscousMoroccan Jews serve this dish for Hanukkah.  Their almond milk is parve and is totally different from the use of the almond extract that I show here but the flavor is wonderful and the liquid helps separate the grains of couscous a little more


8 ounces Israeli couscous
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter or pareve margarine
1/4 -cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 7-ounce package of chopped mixed dried fruit, or 1½ cups assorted dried fruits
1/3 cup whole almonds, roasted and coarsely chopped
2 Tablespoons pine nuts, lightly roasted
1/3-cup water or milk with 1 drop of almond extract added
Cinnamon and medjool date halves for garnish
1.    Cook couscous according to package directions.  Drain and place in a large mixing bowl.

2.    Melt the butter in a 1 cup bowl.  Add the sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine.  Pour the mixture over the couscous to coat thoroughly.

3.    Add the dried fruit and toasted nuts.

4.    Mix the teaspoon of almond extract into the water or milk and then add just enough to moisten the couscous.  Do not add too much or the mixture will be runny.

5.    Pile the couscous into a pyramid shape on a clean serving platter.  Sprinkle with additional cinnamon and garnish with the medjool date halves.

Serves 10 or more people as part of a holiday buffet.

Tina’s Tidbit:

  • An 8 ounce box of couscous contains more than a cup of couscous so add more water to the pot to keep the proportion of liquid to couscous consistent
  • If you need to make the couscous in advance, stop after step two and refrigerate the couscous.  When ready to complete bring to room temperature or warm in a microwave for a minute before proceeding to step 3
  • If you prefer to serve this pareve, use water or coconut milk for the milk and pareve margarine for the butter
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