North African Chickpea and Sweet Potato Couscous

Cook time 1 hour
Servings 4


1 eggplant, cut into 8 rounds
2 small sweet potatoes, each cut into 6 rounds
100mL olive oil
Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 x 410g can whole peeled Ardmona tomatoes, crushed
1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
500mL vegetable stock
6 pitted prunes, torn in half
400g couscous
Handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, to serve

Green sauce
2 garlic cloves, peeled
pinch of salt flakes
1 long green chilli, cut into 4
3 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
1 preserved lemon quarter, flesh removed, rind roughly chopped
130g green olives, pitted
60mL olive oil

North African Chickpea and Sweet Potato Couscous


Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Place the eggplant and sweet potato in a large bowl. Drizzle over two tablespoons of olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Toss and then arrange the pieces in a single layer on the prepared trays. Bake for 35 minutes, or until just tender.

Meanwhile, combine the onion and garlic in the bowl of a small food processor and blitz until evenly chopped. Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the onion mixture and a pinch of salt and cook for 10 minutes until the onion is very soft.

Stir in the spices and cook for one minute until fragrant, then add the tomato paste, tomatoes, chickpeas, stock and prunes, cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and cook for 25 minutes.

Stir the sweet potato and eggplant into the tomato and chickpea sauce and cook for 10 minutes so the flavours develop.

For the green sauce, pound the garlic and a pinch of salt to a paste using a mortar and pestle. Add the chilli, parsley and preserved lemon and pound until very bruised, then add the olives and grind to a rough paste. Mix in the olive oil.

Cook the couscous as per the packet instructions. Transfer to a large platter or serving bowl.

Pile the vegetable stew on top of the couscous and spoon over the green sauce. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.