Recipe: Couscous with ground lamb and eggplant stew

If I’m not following the recipes of my mother or Casa Veneracion, my cooking is basically just winging it. Unlike my husband who likes to involve complicated Japanese methods, my home-cooked meals are simple, easy and fast. And usually delicious, if not healthy all the time. With the help of the internet, winging your cooking is easier these days.

So that’s what I did with this recipe. I accidentally bought minced lamb instead of beef, which I was planning to cook as burrito filling. We’re in the middle of the corona crisis in the Netherlands so I wanted to stretch the items in my fridge and avoid the supermarket as much as I could. And freeze some food in case of a lock down.

But lamb, what I’m I going to do with lamb? In my whole adult life, I’ve only cooked lamb once, grilled. So I went searching online but there weren’t many recipes that calls for ground lamb. And I only have 250 grams.

Luckily I also have eggplants, which I bought several days ago and must be cooked soon. And leftover tomato paste and some cherry tomatoes.

Minced lamb stew with eggplants? Maybe. North African flavours? Sure I have ras el hanout and harissa.

The recipe I found is vegetarian and have no North African flavours. So I improvised and might have come up with something unique, and delicious. So delicious that I wasn’t able to stretch it to two meals.

Recipe: Couscous with ground lamb and eggplant stew

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

40 minutes


Recipe: Couscous with ground lamb and eggplant stew

A quick and easy mid-week meal with North African flavours, which is also great for freezing.


  • 250 gr ground lamb
  • 2 eggplants (I used European variety which are bigger than Asian)
  • 15 pcs cherry tomatoes
  • 1 big onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 200 ml water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp paprika powder
  • 1 tsp harissa (more if you want it spicy)
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • Condiments
  • Greek yoghurt
  • coriander


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Dice eggplant and sprinkle with salt, pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Oven-roast for 15 for 15 minutes or until golden brown. At the same time, oven-roast the cherry tomatoes soft. If you don’t have an oven, I think you can also just fry them.
  2. Heat a skillet and dry roast the cumin until golden brown, set aside. Heat olive oil in the same pan and saute the onions until translucent. Add minced garlic and cumin and saute for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add minced lamb and let it cook without stirring until the top side is no longer pink. Then stir and cook until lamb is golden brown.
  4. Add roasted eggplant, cherry tomatoes, paprika powder, water and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the eggplant is very soft.
  5. Add ras el hanout, harissa, honey, raisins, salt and pepper.
  6. Turn the heat on medium/low, cover the pan and let simmer for another 15-20 minutes or until the water is reduced. Taste and adjust spices according to your preference.
  7. Meanwhile. cook your couscous according to directions.
  8. Serve the ground lamb stew with the couscous, top with a dollop of Greek yogurt and sprinkle with lots of coriander.

Tip: I added some walnuts accidentally (they were in the same jar as the raisins, don’t ask) and I realized, the dish could use some chopped walnuts for texture and extra flavour.

This dish was so good I’m going to make a big batch next time. Happy cooking.