Orange Couscous Curry

by on August 14, 2006
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Orange Couscous Curry

It was 9:00 on Sunday morning, and I needed to have a potluck dish ready by 10:30. To complicate matters, I had little desire to cook or even to attend the potluck–I was thoroughly immersed in a mystery novel and could have happily stayed curled up in the recliner with it all day. Nevertheless, I am a mother and a realist, and I knew I’d eventually have to get up and pretend to be a productive member of society. So at a very late hour, I started looking for something to cook.

Potlucks are often not very lucky for vegans and vegetarians. In order to make sure there’s something my family can actually eat, I always try to bring a main dish rather than a side dish or dessert, and a main dish that contains several of the major food groups is even better. I decided that I needed a “one-pot meal” sort of dish that contained beans, vegetables, and grain, though with time running out, there just wasn’t enough time to cook a grain. So I opted instead for couscous, a tiny pasta that works like a grain in many dishes but cooks many times faster than even the smallest of grains .

I had in mind to make some kind of curried couscous salad, and just for fun I decided to check and see if the always-inventive cooks at the (now-defunct) Naughty Curry blog had done anything with couscous. And of course they had! Their Pineapple-Paradise Couscous Curry looked to-drool-for, and I promise you, I would have made it just as it was written except for one big problem: I didn’t have any pineapple. But I did have a can of mandarin oranges, so I made a few changes in the recipe but left the spicing pretty much as the Naughty cooks had made it. And it was wonderful–lightly sweet, richly spiced, and delicious hot or cold. Thanks, Trobee and Courtney, for the inspiration.

Orange Couscous Curry

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Justine May 22, 2010 at 3:08 pm

This is one of the best couscous salads I have ever tasted; it’s sweet and full of good spices, and it’s really great cold! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it and so do all my nonvegetarian friends. I thank you so much Susan for sharing it and making me discover it! I enjoy your site a lot, it is a true inspiration for cooking creatively healthy food – showing everyone that eating healthy can be oh so delicious!


2 Sarah King May 31, 2010 at 6:45 pm

I didn’t have mandarin oranges or pineapple, but I did have a can of apricot halves, so am giving that a go. Just waiting for the couscous to cook now, but it smells so delightful, I’m actually looking forward to lunch tomorrow. Oh, and I had to use orange/carrot juice instead of just orange. Fingers crossed!


3 glenda pinkham June 27, 2010 at 11:52 am

What happens to the spices flavoring without the oil? Is there any sub for the oil that might work??


4 SusanV June 27, 2010 at 12:36 pm

You can try toasting the spices without oil, but in my experience, they become bitter. You can try using less oil–I’ve managed with even 1/8 of a teaspoon–or just get used to the taste of the toasted spices.


5 Brett June 27, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Hi, I was wondering how many people this recipe serves? I am going to a potluck (much like you were) and I would love to bring this. There are going to be 5 of us there. (All adults)

This sounds amazing by the way!

Thank you!


6 SusanV June 27, 2010 at 4:59 pm

I would say that this serves 6 as a side dish, or as one part of a potluck. I hope you’ll give it a try!


7 Krista July 10, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Thank you Susan!! I just made this couscous salad and it is W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L.

I’m having it warm tonight for dinner and bringing the rest tomorrow as cold salad for a picnic potluck! Love your website!



8 Chris November 8, 2010 at 9:56 am

Where can I find green cardamom pods and black mustard seeds?


9 SusanV November 8, 2010 at 10:33 am

The best place (with the lowest prices) is at an Indian grocery store. You may also be able to find them in the spice section of larger grocery stores (especially the mustard seeds), but if neither of these options is available, you can order them online. I use The Spice House a lot for spices I can’t get locally.


10 Janei February 10, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Love this ! Wasn’t sure with the mustard seeds and
The chilies. But wow!
I’ve been referring pts here when they want their
Cholesterol lowered w/ o drugs
I also suggest the cholesterol down book
So far numbers are falling rapidly and
People love the recipes
Keep up the good work
I love the recipes


11 Martha September 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm

I just started my walk in to the vegetarian/vegan world, could you please tell me which are the basic of herbs and spices that I should have in my kitchen? I love your site everything looks so delicious.
Thanks for taking the time to do this.


12 Natasha Denault August 28, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Made this.
Replaced the couscous for quinoa to increase the
protein content…d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s!!
Great to bring as a lunch to work.
Maybe my favorite recipe so far! Thank you very much!


13 PatB August 31, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Don’t have ginger paste. Would I make my own ginger paste in my food processor by combining fresh ginger with a little water?


14 Susan Voisin August 31, 2013 at 2:13 pm

I would just use 2 teaspoons of minced ginger, PatB. That will be much easier.


15 Catherine Gaulin January 18, 2017 at 10:20 am

In the couscous recipe, which I’m anxious to try, it calls for dried chilies. Is there a particular kind? Thanks, Cathe


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