North African Spiced Shrimp with Couscous

North African Spiced Shrimp

with Couscous

Couscous, a staple in North African cuisine, is actually a very fine semolina pasta. Its origins date back to the 9th century East Africa where archeologists discovered tools used for making it. Traditionally, in North Africa, it’s steamed and flavored by the heat rising off a vegetable or meat stew. In Egypt, it’s mostly served as a sweet dish with cinnamon, nuts, and dried fruit.

North African Spiced Shrimp with Couscous ingredients


  • 10 Ounces Shrimp
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Bunch Spinach
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Bunch Parsley
  • 1 Lemon
  • 4 To 5 Pitted Dates
  • 3 To 4 Prunes
  • 1 Small Red Onion
  • 1 Tablespoon Ras El Hanout
  • 1/4 Cup Almonds
  • 1 Cup Couscous
  • 1 8-Ounce Can Tomato Sauce
  • About 650 Calories Per Serving
  • Makes 2 Servings


Prepare your ingredients:

Prepare your ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and mince the garlic. Roughly chop the spinach, dates, prunes, and almonds. Peel and small dice the carrot and red onion. Pick the parsley leaves off the stem. Cut the lemon into 4 wedges and remove the seeds. Place the shrimp in a medium bowl and drizzle them with a little olive oil. Sprinkle in the ras el hanout and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat.

Make the couscous:

Make the couscous:

In a small pot, heat 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt to boiling on high. Once the water comes to a boil, stir in the couscous and remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for 4 to 5 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed. Fluff the finished couscous with a fork.

Toast the almonds:

Toast the almonds:

Add the chopped almonds to a medium, dry pan. Heat on medium-high for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden and fragrant, stirring frequently. Transfer the almonds to a bowl and wipe out the pan.

Cook the aromatics:

Cook the aromatics:

In a medium pan, heat a little olive oil on medium-high heat until hot. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onion and carrot are softened, stirring occasionally; season with salt and pepper.

Finish the couscous:

Finish the couscous:

To the aromatics, add the spinach and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until wilted; season with salt and pepper. Add the tomato sauce, cooked couscous, dates, prunes, almonds, half the parsley (tear the leaves just before adding, if you’d like), and ¼ cup of water. Add a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until heated through. Remove from the heat and add the juice of 2 lemon wedges. Set aside while you cook the shrimp.

Cook the shrimp:

Cook the shrimp:

In a separate medium pan, heat a little olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the coated shrimp and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until cooked through and opaque, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat squeeze the juice of the remaining lemon wedges over the shrimp. To plate your dish, divide the couscous mixture between 2 dishes and place the shrimp on top. Garnish with the remaining parsley. Enjoy!

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