Couscous Royale

Cook time 2 hours 30 minutes (or 1 hour if using the pressure cooker) plus soaking
Servings 6


2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1kg boned lamb shoulder, excess fat removed and cut into 4

4 chicken drumsticks

2 onions, chopped

1 tablespoon ras el hanout

Pinch of saffron threads

2 tsp. harissa paste

2 carrots, cut into 3 cm rounds

1 turnip, quartered

100 g dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight, then drained

1 litre chicken stock

1 zucchini, cut into chunks

1/2 small savoy cabbage, with core intact, cut in half

1 cups instant couscous

20 g butter

Salt and pepper

Couscous Royale


Drizzle 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil over the lamb and chicken and season generously with salt and pepper.

Heat pressure cooker or large pot over a medium–high heat and cook the lamb and chicken, in batches, until golden all over.

Heat the remaining extra virgin olive oil in the pressure cooker or pot over a medium heat and add the onion and sauté́ for 2–3 minutes to soften. Stir in the ras el hanout and saffron and cook for 30 seconds before adding the harissa and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the lamb and chicken, stir to coat in the spiced onion mix, then add the carrot, turnip and chickpeas. Pour in the stock and enough water to cover and season with salt. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to low, partially cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 45 minutes. If using the pressure cooker, cook under pressure for 35 minutes.

Now add the zucchini and cabbage and cook for a further 40 minutes or until the lamb is almost falling apart and the chickpeas are tender. If using the pressure cooker, add zucchini and cabbage and cook for a further 10 minutes under pressure.

Place the couscous in a large heatproof bowl and add a pinch of salt and butter. Bring 2 cups of water to the boil in a kettle, pour over the couscous and immediately cover with plastic wrap. Set aside to steam for 5–10 minutes, then, using a fork, gently scratch the surface to separate and fluff the grains.

Mound the couscous onto a large platter. Using a slotted spoon, drain the vegetables and place on top of the couscous, then add the meat. Spoon a few ladlefuls of the aromatic broth over the meat, vegetables and couscous and serve in the middle of the table.


If you can’t find ras el hanout, make your own with equal parts ground ginger, cumin, and coriander, cinnamon, paprika and ground turmeric.