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Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking


Serves 2

A CookTale

Some time back, I enjoyed a week touring Morocco hosted by the director of Moroccan Tourism in the US. Needless to say, guided by this Moroccan tourism executive, I had an outstanding experience in this amazing country anyone would envy, and though so many years have passed, I vividly remember many details. Of them, the wonderfully different North African cuisine stands out. Just reading one of Paula Wolfert’s informative cookbooks on Moroccan cuisine might motivate you to call your travel agent. Last evening’s dinner was a far cry from what one could expect, but the ingredients and the seasonings were definitely Moroccan.


1-1/4 pounds ground Lamb
3 Garlic cloves (minced)
2 TB of Harissa, a spicy North African condiment (optional if available)
1-1/4 tsp of Fennel Seeds
1-1/4 tsp of ground Cumin
1-1/4 tsp of ground Coriander
1/4 tsp of ground Cinnamon
Salt ( as required)
1 TB of vegetable oil
1-1/4 cups of Chicken Broth or Water
1/3 cup of Raisins
1 cup of Israeli Couscous
1/3 cup of toasted Almonds
1/2 cup of chopped Cilantro + leaves for garnish
Zest of 1 Lemon


1. Toast Fennel seeds in a small heavy skillet over medium heat until fragrant & a shade darker, about 1 minute. Grind to a fine powder in grinder.

2. Mix together the Lamb, Garlic, optional Harissa, all the Spices (including the Fennel), & 1/2 tsp of Salt. Mix thoroughly with wet hands (do not overmix). Form into 6 thick Patties.

3.Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook the Patties, turning once for about 8 minutes total, for medium-rare.

4. While the Patties cook, bring the Broth, Raisins & 1/4 tsp of Salt to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then stir in the Couscous. Let it stand off heat, covered for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, stir in the Almonds, Cilantro, Zest, & Salt to taste.

5. Serve the Patties on the bed of Couscous. Scatter the Cilantro leaves.

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