World Cuisine

  • 225 g (7½ oz) dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 25 g (1 oz) fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon sultanas
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 150 ml (¼ pint) white wine vinegar
  • pinch of chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2–3 tablespoons orange blossom water
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 225 g (7½ oz) haloumi cheese
  • small bunch of coriander, finely chopped, to garnish
  • 350 g (11½ oz) couscous
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 25 g (1 oz) butter, diced

Tip the couscous into an ovenproof dish. Stir the salt into the measurement water and pour over the couscous. Stir once to make sure all the grains are submerged in the water, then cover with a clean tea towel and leave to stand for about 10 minutes. Rake a fork through the couscous to break up the grains. Then, using your fingers, rub the sunflower oil into the grains until light, airy and any lumps are broken up. Scatter over the butter and cover with a damp piece of greaseproof paper. Place in a preheated oven, 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4, for 15–20 minutes until heated through.

Meanwhile, make the chutney. Put the apricots, apple, onion, garlic, ginger and sultanas in the base of a tagine or a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the cinnamon sticks, lemon juice and zest, vinegar and chilli powder, cover and cook gently over a low heat for 15 minutes. Stir the honey and orange blossom water into the apricot and apple mixture and continue to cook for 10–15 minutes until the mixture is thick and fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, heat the sunflower oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Cut the halloumi into thin strips and and fry for 2–3 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Pile the couscous in a conical mound on a shallow serving dish and use a spoon to create a hollow in the top. Spoon the chutney into the hollow, arrange the haloumi around the couscous and garnish with coriander. Serve on its own or as an accompaniment with grilled meat and poultry.

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