Monday, October 27, 2014

Mali - Couscous De Timbuktu


Mali is a landlocked country in West Africa. Timbuktu is one of it's biggest cities. I remember when I was a kid and I'd ask my Dad where he was going whenever he went out and he'd say Timbuktu. I'm starting to think he might have been lying to me. :(

Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp  black pepper
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 Tbsp. ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp cayenne
  • 2 Cups water
  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 2 onions
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  •  Couscous

 Chop up the onion and saute it in some oil for a few minutes.


 Cut up the chicken and garlic. Add to the onion and saute until the chicken is cooked.


 Crush up the fennel seeds and cardamom pod seeds. Measure out all the spices ready to add to the pan.


 Add the spices and stir well to cover the chicken.


 Add the tomatoes and water. Simmer for an hour.


 Add boiling water to the couscous and cover with a cloth.


 Put the dates in the food processor and blend until pureed. The dates must have been too dry because they wouldn't puree at all.


 Chop up the parsley ready to garnish later.


 JD to the rescue with the mortar and pestle.


 Stir in the date puree and cook for a further 10 minutes.



This dish had an incredibly thick consistency due to the date puree. The dates also added a sweetness that calmed down the spices a bit. It was still really spicy though, almost too spicy. The couscous helped but I think I would've preferred slightly less spice so I could've enjoyed the other flavours in the dish. Erin ate the chicken but Leigh didn't want to try it. JD ate two helpings despite saying it was too spicy. It was difficult to stop eating it because of the delicious thick sauce. I'd try it again with less cayenne pepper next time. And I put less cayenne in ours than the original recipe!! They must like hot food in Mali :)

Also pictured; a blueberry muffin and some cactus juice.

Coming up next week - Drop doughnuts from Ghana.