One of the best things about cooking for other people is introducing them to new dishes. People are so convinced they won’t like something before they even try it. I was doing some private chef work for a family and the father, Bob, is the big cook in the family. He makes great Middle Eastern dishes, but tends to make the same things for their big Friday night dinners. I forced this recipe into the mix one day and it was a huge success. Curry, cumin, and coriander are the the warm flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine. They are complemented by light and fresh flavors like crunchy jicama and sweet cranberries. The comforts of something familiar presented with something fresh and new.
Makes: 6-8 side dish servings
2 cups dry cous cous, bulgur, or quinoa
3 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1 cup raisins or craisins
1 cup cashews, toasted and roughly chopped
1 cup grated jicama
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbs curry powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp dried ginger
1 tsp coriander
salt and pepper to taste
- Cook cous cous (or grain of choice) to package directions.
- While it is cooking, boil 1 cup of water and pour over dried raisins to rehydrate. Drain and let cool.
- Make the dressing in a separate bowl by combining vinegar and dried spices. Whisk in oil until well combined.
- Let grain cool to room temperature after it is done cooking. This process can be accelerated by rinsing with cool water in a colander.
- Combine cous cous with dressing, and fold in carrots, raisins, cashews, and jicama until well combined. Season with additional salt and pepper as necessary.
- Serve room temperature or chilled.