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Caraway and Cumin Couscous Salad

Does anybody else find it a little strange that salads are generally at their best when their creator has played a little loose and fast with the definition of the term? A salad is fairly stringently defined as something made with raw vegetables, though the Americans would have it that tuna mixed with mayonnaise should be described as a salad. Yet, there have been countless instances, this being one of them, where there is no better word to describe what one is eating. Perhaps the title of this recipe ought to be suffixed with the phrase, ‘for want of a better term’.

This may appear to be a rather simple salad and indeed it is, but rather a lot of deliberation was required to perfectly balance its flavours. When using whole spices one would usually, though not always, dry toast them in the pan before grinding them into a powder. However, this didn’t appear to me to be the best course of action, since doing so would have overpowered the other flavours. Indeed, the walnuts would have been rendered very nearly useless, confined to the lowly position of ‘crunch provider’. Such a cruel fate should not be pushed upon any ingredient, let alone the much-loved walnut. So, without further ado, please enjoy my ‘for want of a better term’ salad

Caraway and Cumin Couscous Salad

Serves 2


• 100g couscous, giant if possible

• 2 tsp cumin seeds

• 2 tsp caraway seeds

• 2 handfuls of walnuts, roughly crushed

• A handful of chopped parsley

• A handful of chopped coriander

• 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, cider vinegar or lemon juice

• Salt, pepper and olive oil


1. Toast the cumin and caraway seeds in a little olive oil until they begin to pop. Add the garlic before stirring in the cooked couscous. Fold in the walnuts, parsley and coriander before seasoning and drizzling with a little more olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice.

Cost: These sorts of very simple, quick meals tend to be extremely cheap and this one is no exception. The entire dish, which is surprisingly filling, should set one back no more than 60-70p.

60 replies on “Caraway and Cumin Couscous Salad”

Nice, Frugal! The table you photograph on is a lovely piece. It showcases your food so well.
Couscous is great for a fast meal. You can add just about anything to it.Thanks for sharing your version, delicious!

looks delicious! I just love it when cumin seeds are added to a dish, whether salad or curry. it’s one of my favourite spices. what a way to zest up couscous. will try adding caraway next time too (:

I love these sorts of ad hoc salads (and I agree, there has to be a better word/phrase for them). They’re probably my favorite thing to cook and eat when I don’t have to please anyone else’s palate, meaning perfect for taking to work for lunch!

love couscous, i must try it with your combination of spices! must say though that the bowl was the first thing that caught my eye, and seeing other commenters, i see i’m not the only one 😉 great pics!

That looks absolutley amazing. I love cous cous and I’m always trying to think up different ways of using it in a salad. I wish I hadn’t read this an hour before lunchtime!


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