Trail Chef: Lime-Curry Couscous

A spicy, sweet–and easy!–vegetarian treat

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What’s not to love about couscous? It’s hearty. It’s tasty. A dry serving for two packs down smaller than a hockey puck (try doing that with your spaghetti). And perhaps best of all, “cooking” it is as simple as adding hot water and waiting five minutes.

Try this tangy recipe the next time you’re hankering for some fresh ingredients on the trail. Ultralight it’s not (if ounce-saving is your goal, check out our special feature on ultralight technique)—but nobody ever spoons up a warm spoonful of flavorful goodness and says, “You know, I really wish I was gnawing on that dehydrated chili mac right now.”

Lime-Curry Couscous

Serves 2 hungry hikers.

1 lime

½ cup whole-wheat couscous

¾ cup water

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon curry powder

2 carrots

1 cup chickpeas

1 bunch scallions

¼ cup sliced almonds

¼ cup golden raisins

Dash salt and pepper

At home

Rinse, drain, and pat dry chickpeas; pack them in a zip-top bag. Transfer oil to a spillproof container. Pack curry, salt, pepper, almonds, and raisins in another zip-top bag.

In camp

Bring water to a boil in a pot; remove from heat, add couscous, cover, and let sit until all water is absorbed (about five minutes). While couscous is heating, grate, shred, or chop the carrots. Chop scallions into thin slices. When couscous is done, add olive oil, vegetables, chickpeas, and the contents of the curry bag. Slice lime in half and squeeze fresh juice into the couscous; mix well to combine. Grate a little lime zest on top. Serve warm.

–Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan