Top

Dinner Recipe: Curry Couscous

Curry couscous with vegetables, raisins, and olive oil

Curry couscous with vegetables, raisins, and olive oil

Like Pesto Noodles, this Curry Couscous recipe is a solid second-string backpacking dinner behind my All-Stars. Normally I make it with dried vegetables and raisins, but freeze-dried chicken and/or cashews work well, too.

Meal stats

  • Recommended meal weight: 5.7 oz
  • Total calories: 703
  • Caloric density: 123 calories/ounce
Save for the dried vegetables, all of these ingredients are widely available. The dried vegetables are best purchased online.

Save for the dried vegetables, all of these ingredients are widely available. The dried vegetables are best purchased online.

Ingredients

I like this recipe best with dried vegetables and raisins, with a 1.00 oz and 1.25 oz split. But cashews add a nice crunch and freeze-dried chicken is a good source of protein. I have tried allocating the 2.25 oz evenly among vegetables, raisins, and cashews but I found that that none of the ingredients were in satisfactory quantity.

The ingredients. Note: the curry and garlic is pre-mixed and carried in a plastic spice jar.

The ingredients. Note: the curry and garlic is pre-mixed and carried in a plastic spice jar.

At-home preparation

A soloist who prefers slightly soupy dinners like I do can package all of the ingredients together, except for the olive oil. If you plan to use less water so as to achieve a more conventional consistency, you’ll need three packages: for the couscous, all other dry ingredients, and the olive oil. On weight-conscious trips I keep my olive oil in a 16-oz Plastypus Soft Bottle inside of a gallon- or quart-sized plastic freezer bag; for more casual trips, a Nalgene bottle is fine.

In a group setting, each member should be given their own ration of couscous. The other dry ingredients and the olive oil should be packaged separately and divided evenly in the field.

Group packaging. Each member gets their own ration of couscous, upper left, and all of the other ingredients are packaged separately and divided in the field. The curry/garlic mix is best added in the field, to taste.

Group packaging. Each member gets their own ration of couscous, upper left, and all of the other ingredients are packaged separately and divided in the field. The curry/garlic mix is best added in the field, to taste.

Cooking instructions

For a soupy outcome, add all of the ingredients to at least 12 oz (350 ml) of water. The pot can be moved off the stove after the water comes to a boil, though a 60-second simmer helps everything more fully reconstitute.

For at-home consistency, add all of the ingredients, except for the couscous, to 10 oz water (300 ml). Bring to a boil and then stir in the couscous; simmer for 60 seconds if you care to. Let sit for 5 minutes.

4 Responses to Dinner Recipe: Curry Couscous

  1. JeffM September 25, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

    For solo trips do you keep the curry powder in a separate hard plastic container? I tried a variation of this last weekend on a trip with all ingredients (including the curry powder) pre-mixed in a plastic ziploc. It was very good, but everything in my food bag tasted like curry for the rest of the trip. Curry flavored trail mix gets old after a few days!

    • Andrew Skurka September 25, 2015 at 2:05 pm #

      I pre-mix it, but my tolerance for curry-smelling trail mix may be higher. If this bothers you, you can certainly store the spices in a plastic bottle, or in a plastic bag that is inside of an odorproof bag. There are some photos in these posts of both items, I think.

  2. Paul November 15, 2015 at 5:59 pm #

    I asked my wife to take a crack a the spice mix for this, here’s what she came up with. Anyone else try experimenting with this one?

    1/2 tsp cumin
    2 tsp curry
    1/4 tsp mccormick garam masala
    1/2 tsp dried cilantro
    2 tsp tomato powder
    pinch of red paper flakes

  3. KurtW November 22, 2015 at 7:42 am #

    I add a pinch of salt when home packaging just so I don’t have to in the field otherwise I find the spice mix to be right on. For variation I make .75 oz of the 2.25 oz mixed veggies either dried chicken or dried shrimp. That’s enough of a simple change to make them taste like different meals in camp.

Leave a Reply

Please prove you're not spam: *