I’ve been on a major cous cous roll lately. I’ve always loved the pearl cous cous for salads and with my veggies but the tiny grains of regular cous cous are absolutely delightful! I’m not sure why I’m discovering it so late in life but I’m so glad it’s finally on my radar because it makes for delicious veggie bowls, sides to meat or you can make it into a salad! We made these bowls for lunch the other day and when I  reached into the pantry to grab some harissa, I  realized I didn’t have any! This of course led me to making a homemade version! The recipe for the harissa is adapted from this Bon Apetit recipe that I    didn’t quite have all of the ingredients for but needless to say I loved what I ended up with!

Harissa is a spicy paste made from dried red chilis, and originates from Tunisia. You’ll see it often in Israeli, Moroccan, Libyan (and more) dishes and it packs great flavor, spice and has such a beautiful vibrant color from the dried red chilis! My version is by no means authentic but I made it with what I had on hand and I think you guys will love it! If you don’t have the time or energy to make a homemade version, Harissa is usually found in the ethnic section of most grocery stores and tastes great!

You can also mix harissa with a bit of yogurt to cool it down or have it just as is! I  hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I  did! The cous cous sounds super simple but I  promise you its sooo good! If you make this, be sure to tag @thechutneylife so I  can see all of your hard work! Happy eating 🙂


Cous Cous, Roasted Veggies, and Homemade Harissa Bowls

Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Servings 2 People


Cous Cous:

  • 3/4 cup cous cous
  • 1 cup onion diced
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste


  • 6 chile de arbol dried
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 cloves garlic large
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Roasted Veggies

  • 3 cups veggies diced or cut into florets (zucchini and or cauliflower, eggplant, etc)
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into 1 /2 inch wide strips or squares
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 tsp moroccan seasoning
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt & peper to taste
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


For the Harissa:

  • Roast a whole red bell pepper by placing it in the oven on high broil setting until all the sides of the pepper have become charred.
  • While the bell pepper is roasting, heat a skillet to medium high heat and add the cumin and coriander seeds. Toast the seeds so they are fragrant and slightly golden but not at all brown. Watch very carefully so they do not burn. Once they are toasted, move them to a bowl and let them cool down.
  • Place the bell pepper, toasted spices, and rest of the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a blender and puree until smooth. Add in the olive oil in a slow and steady stream while the blender is running. Stop to scrape down the sides of the blender if you need to. Add more oil as needed- to get the sauce to be smooth and moving freely in the blender. Remove sauce from blender and refrigerate extra.

Cous Cous

  • Note: You will need hot water to add to the cous cous. You can heat up water in a separate pot on the stove, or use water from a tea kettle.
  • Heat a sauce pan over meidum high heat and add oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onoins and saute until the onions are soft and slighly translucent (about 4-5 minutes). Next add the garlic, chili flakes, saute until garlic is fragrant but not brown.
  • Add hot water to the pot, salt to taste, stir together quickly and cover the pot immediately and take off the stove. After 5 minutes, take the lid off of the pot, use a fork to gently mix and fluff the cous cous and set aside until ready to serve.

Roasted Veggies:

  • Heat Oven to 400 degrees
  • Toss the veggies, olive oil and spices together in a bowl until well combined and lay out evenly on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for about 12-14 minutes until the veggies start to get golden brown on the bottom and are fork tender. Remove from oven and serve hot with cous cous and harissa on the side