This Spicy Roasted Chickpea, Carrot and Couscous Salad is one of my favourite warm salad combinations. It’s packed with flavour from the spices and the natural sweetness roasting brings out of the veg. My favourite part of this salad though is the variety of textures. Soft, crunch, cold warm, cooked raw. It’s a feast for your tastebuds.
I am a huge lover of salad. They’re my staple dinner dishes, especially in summer. Not all salads are created equal though. And while there’s nothing wrong with the basic iceberg lettuce, tomato and cucumber, that is not my style. I am a flavour fiend. Plain doesn’t do it for me.
Salads in our household are not usually a side dish. Unless we’re having a braai or entertaining, they are usually our main meal. Whether they include meat or not, I like to pack in as many food groups as possible and load up on nutrients, while ensuring it’s filling and tastes delicious. Don’t forget minimal hands on time too.
This particular salad is has some North African / Middle Eastern notes and is so suitable for the whole family. Regulate the spice level according to your taste buds. Then drizzle the roasted carrots and chickpeas with a little seasonal honey or agave and sprinkle with flaked almonds and coconut. Mixed this with couscous (or quinoa if you prefer), and adorn with ruby red pomegranate seeds. For some extra textural crunch (and nutrients) I’ve added mixed seeds, fresh herbs, and chopped baby spinach. Definitely a feast of flavour and colour!
For those who want to add a meat element, shredded chicken tossed through the salad works a treat. It is also great as a side to lamb or chicken sosaties/skewers. This is one of my favourite Braai Day dishes. Just a little hint for those who are looking for ideas for Heritage Day next month. This recipe serves 4 as a main course and 6 – 8 as a side dish.
If you like this type of salad, check out my Warm Honey Roasted Sweet Potato, Wild Rice, Date and Nut Salad or my Middle Eastern Carrot Salad.
Spicy Roasted Chickpea, Carrot and Couscous Salad
Roasted Carrots & Chickpeas
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Mild/medium curry powder Depending on you spice preference
- ½ tsp Masala or Mother in Laws Spice Mix Optional
- 5 – 6 Medium Carrots Peeled & Chopped
- Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
- 400 grams Tin of chickpeas* Drained
- ½ Cup Flaked Almonds
- ⅓ Cup Coconut Flakes Optional
- 1 – 2 Tbsp Honey Vegans can substitute with agave
- 1 Cup Couscous Feel free to use quinoa or other grain of your choice
- 1 tsp Vegetable Stock Powder/Granules
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1½ Cups Boiling Water
- 2 – 3 Cups Baby Spinach Roughly chopped
- ⅓ Cup Pomegranate Seeds
- ¼ Cup Seed Mix
- Fresh herbs Optional
- Preheat the oven to 200°C
- Wash, peel and chop your carrots
- Add the olive oil and spices to a large oven dish, then add the carrots, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and mix until the carrots are well coated
- Roast the carrots for approx. 15 minutes, then add the drained chickpeas, season and toss with the spices and carrots (the mixture might need an extra drizzle of olive oil)
- Return to the oven for 10 minutes (at this point you need to prepare your couscous)
- Add the couscous, salt and stock powder to a bowl
- Pour over the boiling water and immediately cover with plastic wrap or a tight fitting plate or lid. Leave to stand for 10 minutes
- Next, add the coconut and almond flakes to the carrots and chickpeas, mix well, then drizzle with honey and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes
- Chop your spinach and herbs and set aside
- When the couscous has absorbed all the water, mix with a fork to separate the grains
- Remove the carrot mixture from the oven, then add the couscous and mix through to coat the couscous with any leftover spiced oil from the carrots
- Finally,add in the chopped herbs and baby spinach and mix well. Then add the seeds and pomegranates
- Serve and sprinkle with some additional seeds and nuts
- Note: For meat eaters who want to bulk up this salad, serve with shredded chicken, or as a side to lamb or chicken kebabs