Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Couscous with Spinach, Scrambled Eggs and Pine Nuts

Inside, it was clear that the books owned the shop rather than the other way about. Everywhere they had run wild, taking possession of their habitat, breeding and multiplying and clearly lacking any strong hand to keep them down.
Agatha Christie, Chapter 13, The Clocks.

This could very well have been some of my grandfather's rooms filled with his books, chemicals and apparatuses. It could also very well be any house that I have been living in for a couple of years; although in my case, the ‘breeding and multiplying’ is carried out mainly by what will generally be classified as clutter by saner people.
I keep worthless things desperately and diligently in the name of props and photography, though most of them are destined never to come in front of the camera;
I keep bills, out of a curious concern that we will be required to submit them as address proofs for something or the other as it happened once before;
I keep cardboard boxes, bubble wraps and foam boards, based on an unfounded anxiety as to how I will pack if we had to move suddenly;
I save the sparsely filled note pads scribbled with my discordant ideas, in an optimistic hope that someday they will spark inspiration and breathe life into a mostly dead and decaying blog;
I keep pieces of Aida cloth, tricking my mind into a deceptive dream that I will one day do cross stitch work for all my tables and trays;
I keep text books from my postgraduate days, riding on a largely vicious faith that I will someday encounter a miserable student to pass them on to;
I keep my sister's shoes she had left with me that are too evidently large for me, out of a needless forethought that she can wear them while she is visiting;

I collect clutter.

I will stop now and spare you the agony of going through this with me.
On a positive note, January is the month when I do my "Spring Cleaning". As obsessive as it sounds and seemingly varying from the passage above, I go through almost all of our things, clean them up, re arrange stuff and try to throw or give away unwanted stuff.

The throwing and giving away is where I stumble and most of the stuff ends up back where they came from. I have ceased to bother with some things that seem to have made a permanent abode in our home. The Techie's old computer for instance has stood years of my cleaning up, partly because I have no idea how to get rid of it and partly because the Techie for some reason would like to hold on to it. So it sits under a table and gathers dust. Considering my own streak of amassing junk, I can't blame him of course.
This whole endeavour is not without its perks, especially when it comes to the kitchen. That is where I discover long forgotten, but totally welcome things like unopened bags of Couscous and Quinoa, tinned Raspberry pie filling and Anchovies. This time, I also found Horse Gram, Jowar Flour and some suspicious looking packets of various nameless entities on a top shelf. Most of these have a late date fast approaching and I thought it best to use them as soon as possible. Here is where a part of one of the couscous packets went into.

Couscous with Spinach, Scrambled Eggs and Pine Nuts

This is a very simple, fast to pull together dish. I had used baby spinach in the dish as I had plenty of them leftover from salad preps. You can use normal spinach too. 
(Serves 2)


For the Couscous:
  1. Couscous - 1 cup
  2. Vegetable Stock - 1 cup
  3. Red Chilli Flakes - 1/2 tsp.
  4. Lime Zest - of 1 Lime (Optional. Or you can use a small squeeze of Lime or Lemon Juice.)
For the Spinach:
  1. Baby Spinach, torn to pieces if necessary - 4 loosely packed cups. (You can use normal spinach too, in which case you will have to chop them into pieces.)
  2. Garlic, finely chopped - 2 scant tsp.
  3. Salt - As needed
  4. Oil
For the Scrambled Eggs:
  1. Eggs - 2 or 3
  2. Salt
  3. Oil
For the Toasted Pine Nuts:
  1. Pine nuts - 4 to 5 tbsp.

The Couscous:

Take the vegetable stock in a sauce pan and bring it a boil. Take it off the heat, pour the boiling stock over the couscous and sprinkle the lime zest and red chilli flakes on top. Keep the bowl tightly closed with a lid for ten minutes and then fluff the grains with a fork.

The Spinach:

Heat up a pan and add some oil. Add the garlic and once it gets sauteed well - but before it browns, add the spinach with some salt. Mix well and cook the spinach to a point that you prefer. Once done, add the spinach to the cooked couscous.

The Scrambled Eggs:

Beat the eggs well with some salt and scramble them on a hot pan. Add it to the couscous mix.

The Toasted Pine Nuts:

Heat up a pan and add the pine nuts. Toast them, stirring frequently until they turn golden. Add the toasted nuts into the couscous bowl.

Stir everything well together and serve.

  1. You can substitute scrambled eggs with pan seared chunks of cottage cheese, if you'd rather have a no egg meal.


  1. Hehe... loved reading through a post. I don't have a lot of old collectibles but props, yes and like you said, many are yet to see day light till now... :/ I love how easy it is to make cousocus but somehow HD didn't seem to like it, so may be I will keep my escapades for later...

    1. Thanks Rafee :) And yeah, the props :D

      Rafee, the Techie is not a huge fan - but I make mine as a single serve (especially if it is vegetarian) when there is something else for him for dinner. Sometimes I make it for lunch when I'm alone :)

  2. Enjoyed reading the post. Could relate to it as I used to just be like you collecting "clutter". But with time and two boys and their stuff, storing the clutter became difficult and then I developed a habit of keeping useful stuff and stopped looking too much to the future. Now I enjoy keeping my house and wardrobes with minimum stuff.
    The recipe reminds me our good old oopmav.

    1. Thanks much, Chechi :) I must learn to let go - at least with what is practical for me :)

      And yeah - couscous does resemble Semolina!


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