In lamb couscous, Arabia and Africa meet. Lamb is one of the integral items in a standard Arabian dish. The importance of mutton as a specially prepared dish can be established from various sayings of Prophet Muhammad especially the one that he himself preferred the thigh of lamb among his delicacies. Couscous is a staple food in Africa, especially in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya. According to a survey conducted on October 2011 by The Connexion, which introduces itself as the English newspaper of France, people in the eastern part of France prefer couscous to all other dishes. People of the country have selected couscous as their third favorite dish. This linking is not restricted to France alone, but people from other parts of the world search for the dish in menus wherever they are.
Couscous is prepared from semolina wheat and is normally used with meat or vegetable stew. In its typical Arabian variety, the meat used is that of lamb
Heat a large saucepan and gently fry the onion in a little olive oil for 10 minutes. Add the diced lamb, the garlic, red pepper and tomato puree. Stir in the tomato base sauce, or tinned tomatoes, water and basil. Add salt to taste cover with a lid or a couple of tight layers of foil, then simmer on a low heat for around 1½ hours or transfer into a deep baking tin cover with foil and finish cooking it in the oven at 150 C/300 F/gas 2 for about 2 hours, or until the meat is tender.
Tip the dry couscous into a serving tin. Then pour the boiling vegetable stock on to the couscous - it should just cover it. Leave to stand for 10 minutes and then fluff up with a fork just before serving.
Serve the lamb with couscous and a mixed leaf salad.