Coconut Cinnamon Couscous

Couscous is a staple in our home and one of the things I always keep stocked in my pantry. I love how simple it is--taking a mere 5 minutes or so to steam into fluffy perfection--and how versatile. I don't like rice and pasta usually feels a bit too heavy, but couscous always seems perfect to me.

I toss it with herbs and lemon zest for a quick cold side, or serve it plain under a steamy scoop of lamb stew. Combined with equally quick-cooking shrimp, it's generally what ends up on our dinner table on those evenings when I really just don't have that much energy.

This cinnamon coconut couscous is a new favorite, born from necessity when I realized I was out of broth and wanted something other than water to flavor the tiny semolina beads. The first time I made it, I used just coconut milk and a cinnamon stick and loved the subtle sweetness and unmistakable aroma of the coconut in the final dish.

But I love coconut and I wanted MORE, so I went back and made it again, this time stirring in half a cup of shredded unsweetened coconut and adding tiny bit of sugar to draw out the sweetness even further.

This is an easy side dish recipe, but definitely something I'm sure will be appearing again and again on our dinner table. Last night we paired this with curried minced beef and eggplant and topped the whole thing with a shower of fresh cilantro; it was lovely and hearty and the perfect bowl of comfort as the wind blew and snow (snow!!) fell outside our window.

Want to play around a bit more? Here are a few other ideas to try with this:
  • Add 1 tablespoon of fresh orange zest and a handful of pomegranate arils
  • Add 2 finely grated carrots
  • Toast half a cup of sliced almonds and stir them in at the end
  • Add chopped cranberries and apricots
  • Go sweet and up the sugar to a 1/3 cup and add additional warm coconut milk to turn it into a dessert or breakfast porridge 
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Coconut Cinnamon Couscous Recipe

1 1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 10oz box plain couscous
1/2 cup dried shredded unsweetened coconut

Combine coconut milk, water, cinnamon sticks, sugar, and kosher salt in a a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in couscous and coconut, cover, and remove from heat. Let sit 5 minutes, then use a fork to fluff before serving. 



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