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Cous cous, chickpea and avocado pilaf with lemon tahini sauce

Photo: Marina Oliphant

Try this as a complete meal or serve it at a picnic as the stand out salad of the day.


  •  200 gm pumpkin, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cup (250gm) cous cous
  • ½ can (200gm) organic chickpeas, washed, rinsed and drained
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 100gm radicchio leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds
  • Lemon tahini dressing
  • ½ cup(125ml) hulled tahini
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2cm knob ginger, finely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon water


Place the diced pumpkin onto a baking tray and coat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 15minutes or until cooked.  Set aside for later.

Bring the water to a boil, add the turmeric and a pinch of salt then pour in the cous cous and chickpeas.  Bring back to a rolling boil, cover and simmer for 3 minutes.  Turn off and leave lid on for 5 minutes before gently spooning it into a large bowl.  With a fork gently separate the grains and beans and allow to cool.

Prepare the dressing by combining the dressing ingredients into a bowl and whisk until smooth.  Add a little extra water if it's too thick. 

To assemble, take the cous cous and chickpeas and gently add the roast pumpkin, avocado, radicchio and carefully mix them all together.  Spoon this into a large bowl or individual bowls and add a little dressing together with a sprinkling of roast pumpkin seeds.  Serve either warm or chilled. 

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