Donna Hay’s Spicy One-Pot Couscous


What’s your general feeling in respect of couscous? I’m not really a fan. For a while I tried to tart it up with a shitload of interesting stuff and it never worked. It was always reminiscent of that one person at church picnics who used to bring that god-awful carrot and sultana and mayonnaise ‘salad’ (hell-curses on the person who came up with that idea) and so I ditched it. I replaced it with quinoa, alleged saviour of the fat people, and it was definitely preferable with a semblence of texture and taste, and also it was cool (back when I was cooking it regularly) and I managed to achieve a little cache at lunchtime in the office for forcing it down when everyone else around me was eating freaking delicious rolls from the Spanish deli at the end of the road.

Basically a ‘yeah but nah’ to couscous and it’s health-conscious cousin.  GIANT COUSCOUS IS A DIFFERENT MATTER. It’s nice.  This is another Donna Hay recipe – I think I told you a post or two ago I am mainly cooking Donna Hay or Aussie Women’s Weekly recipes at the moment – obviously the pictures of her food look literally untouched by human hands and mine never come out looking as pretty but they seem to taste ok.  I’ve spunked god knows how many pounds on her app and am basically mining it for ideas.

She uses normal couscous in her recipe for this so it would end up a dryer mix (rather than tasty slop, as I did) – it’s up to you.


For 4:-

Olive oil

2 red onions, chopped into not-heaps-big wedges

1 chorizo  (if in Oz  PLEASE try to source proper chorizo from a deli rather than that shit they sell you at Coles as chorizo but WHICH IS NOT IT IS FOUL DO NOT EAT IT)

1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

2 teaspoons rosemary leaves

couscous – if using normal, then 2 cups of dried. If using GIANT COUSCOUS then I think I used about 2/3 of a packet. Use your judgement

680ml cups chicken stock (obviously you can use less/more depending on how your couscous gobbles it up)

150g or so of washed baby spinach leaves

half cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

lemon wedges

jar of aioli you bought from the shop


In a pan throw the onion, chorizo, chilli and rosemary, along with a couple of teaspoons of olive oil, and cook until the chorizo frees up its tasty oils and the onions are looking nicely red and soft.  Should take between 7-10 mins if you’re using a medium-high heat.

Don’t burn anything.


Should look a bit like the above.  I hadn’t enough red onion so used white for the other half. Was absolutely fine but Donna Hay must never find out otherwise she’ll give me that odd smile of hers and be all disappointed whilst still trying to be supportive. Awkward.


Add the couscous and chicken stock and reduce the heat a bit to more like low, cover it up and simmer until the stock is absorbed.

For me this took a while and a little extra stock.


But when done looks all plump and delicious. Arguably like a tapioca dish that is actually yum.  Stir through the spinach leaves – they should wilt in the residual heat like Brits on the last day of a budget holiday to the Costa del Sol.


NewHuman’s toy collection has grown exponentially post-birthday. Boyfriend and I carried on our fine tradition of buying him very little (we bought him nothing for Christmas) and he is currently busy taking all available floor space, preferring the ‘violent throw’ approach to toy distribution. Such a treasure.

Anyway, serve up the tasty slop in bowls and serve with aioli, parsley and lemon wedges. Boyfriend wasn’t a fan of the aioli but I stirred a nice heaped teaspoon through my tasty slop and pronounced it delicious. You decide.

Note: the clever among you will note I’ve used lime wedges. That’s because I found my lemons having self-destructed at the bottom of the fruit bowl. Limes were fine.







5 thoughts on “Donna Hay’s Spicy One-Pot Couscous

  1. ediblethings says:

    I thought that Boyfriend got a recent update?

    Anyway, I wanted to say that I approve of your description of giant couscous (which I also prefer, except for tagine, when the smaller stuff has the correct absorptive properties) as acceptable tapioca, and would like to use it from here on in (tapioca has always reminded me of frogspawn in texture and look, so I’m not going to start substituting giant couscous in bubble tea or anything awful like that). Would that be ok?

  2. narf77 says:

    (Should I mention vegan chorizo? She had a mass hissy explosion about the meat bastardisation, might be best to just let it slide…this once…)…

    Ms Donna Lawson (for indeed she is cultivating that particular niche market here in Aus including the added padding…) has a most annoying way of “putting on the dog” that grates and irritates me. Might work in the U.K. where the class system has been outed (or in the U.S. where Nigella shamelessly whores and wafts her recipe aspirations) but not here! Not in Australia where tall poppies are cut down post haste like the pretentious wannabes that they are! Watch it Ms Hay, you are a hairs breath away from a mass uprising and a mob with torches…

    “Violent Throw” technique eh? That would be his latent Italian heritage…can’t wait to see how he turns out when the Aussieness kicks in to balance it all out. Might want to warn the dog and she might want to hide for the duration (possibly for the next 15 or so years…)

    Tapioca soup…emmm…

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