Spiced North African Mutton

Fresh parsley, mint and coriander lift Diana Henry's fiery harissa seasoned mutton.
By Diana Henry
Spiced North African Mutton
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the mutton

  • 8 tsp coriander seeds
  • 8 tsp cumin seeds
  • 8 tsp harissa
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 kg mutton, sliced

For the couscous

  • 200 g couscous
  • 175 ml water or chicken stock
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, zest and juice
  • 25 g shelled unsalted pistachio nuts, chopped
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp flat leaf parsley
  • 3 tbsp mint
  • 3 tbsp coriander


1. For the mutton: dry fry the coriander and cumin in a small frying pan for a couple of minutes to release their fragrance. Grind them in a mortar and pestle then add the harissa, olive oil and salt and pepper.

2. Cover the mutton in the spice paste, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge to marinate for up to a couple of hours.

3. Cook on a griddle until browned on the outside and pink in the middle.

4. For the couscous: bring the water or stock to a boil, take off the heat then add the couscous and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Let the couscous plump up for about 15 minutes then use a fork or your fingers to aerate and separate the grains. Stir in the lemon zest and juice, pistachio nuts, spring onion, flat-leaf parsley, mint, coriander and taste for seasoning.

5. Serve the couscous warm alongside the mutton.

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