A lucky number in Jewish heritage, this twist on a classic Sephardic dish from North Africa is packed with seven veggies, each with its own symbolic meaning (and wonderful flavor). It’s a vegetable stew so savory you won’t even care that it’s vegan! It accompanies fluffy couscous for a hearty meal.

Read our interview with Stovetop Co-Op creator and chef Ben Helfgot here, and find a second recipe for potato-leek kugel here.

Tunisian Couscous With Seven Vegetables

Serves 4


  • 1 cup fine couscous
  • 3 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 small leek
  • 1 summer squash or zucchini
  • 1 bunch green chard, shredded
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • ¼ cup dates or raisins
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder or cayenne pepper (more if you like spice)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil


  1. Trim off the root end of the leek, cut in half longways and rinse well under cold water. Slice the leek, carrot and squash or zucchini into quarter inch-wide half-moons.
  2. Place a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the carrot and leek, a heavy pinch of salt and five grinds of black pepper, and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the leeks start to turn translucent.
  3. Add the chickpeas, zucchini and chard, along with the turmeric and ginger, and add enough vegetable stock or water to fully cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. While the vegetables are stewing, measure 1 cup of couscous into a small saucepan or other heat-proof vessel with a lid.
  5. Using a ladle, add 1¼ cups of the cooking liquid from the vegetables to the couscous, then cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
  6. Just before serving, use a fork to fluff the couscous, and add the dates or raisins and diced tomato to the vegetable stew.
  7. Place the couscous in shallow bowls and ladle a healthy serving of the stew on top.