Turmeric and some other spices used in this recipe are notably Moroccan, and, while in Morocco it's typical to serve the couscous alongside the stew or sauce, I chose to stir it all together to keep in line with this quick and easy dinners column—and it turned out great. The couscous had a chance to absorb the extra sauce and flavor.
- 1 3/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup Israeli couscous
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 3 medium cloves garlic, grated with a Microplane or minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 large eggplant, diced (about 1 quart diced egg plant)
- 8 plum tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped (about 3 cups chopped tomatoes)
- 1 teaspoon hot paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
- 6 to 8 picked basil leaves, chopped
Heat 1 1⁄4 cups of the broth in a 12-inch skillet over high heat until it reaches a boil. Stir in the couscous and season to taste with salt and pepper, reducing heat to bring it to a bare simmer. Cover, stirring occasionally, until the excess liquid is absorbed, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Wipe out skillet and add olive oil. Heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the shallots, turmeric, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring constantly 3 to 4 minutes, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute longer.
Add the eggplant, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, remaining 1/2 cup broth, paprika, and chili flakes. Once the tomatoes begin to soften, gently break them up with a wooden spoon or potato masher. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until the eggplants are cooked through and the tomatoes have completely broken down, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Stir in the couscous and allow it to absorb the excess liquid and warm through, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and garnish with the basil leaves. Serve.