So here we are in the gut of winter, many snowed in, perhaps going stir crazy (as I often do under such conditions). The pundits say variety is the spice of life, but sometimes the harsh winter weather limits that range of ability… unless you’re in the kitchen.
While variety may be the spice of life, I’d argue that spices enhance life, particularly the life of one’s cooking. Indian cuisine is practically built around spices (not to mention fresh vegetables), making it a nourishing and unique alternative to lunch or dinner. Food is often prepared with turmeric, a spice that offers researched health benefits that include protection against liver damage and certain types of cancers, anti-inflammatory and infection-fighting properties. Admittedly, since I’m not a fan of hot, spicy foods, my only exposure to Indian cuisine is the occasional episode of Aarti Party on The Food Network. Until now, as I realize that using spices does not necessarily make a food spicy.
I used fast-cooking whole wheat couscous as the platform in this recipe to inject a bit of Indian flavor. The earthy, vibrant turmeric mixes with the nutty, citrusy coriander (which has its own list of health benefits) to create a colorful base for this nutritious and filling side dish. I even used one of my several kitchen-related Christmas gifts– a coffee/spice grinder that quickly pulverized the coriander seeds to a fine powder (thanks, Mom!). Continue reading