Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Senegalese couscous with beef and vegetable sauce

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 6-8
Millet and corn couscous are becoming more widely available as a gluten-free alternative to wheat couscous. Fonio is a West African grain that is yet to reach the UK, but quinoa is a good substitution.


  1. Place the millet couscous, corn couscous and fonio (or quinoa) into three separate bowls and cover with water. Soak for 20 minutes, then drain. (If you are using quinoa, you will need to par-boil this for ten minutes and drain thoroughly before steaming.)

  2. Place the grains all together in a steamer and steam for 20 minutes, adding water and cooking until the grains are thoroughly cooked through. Add the butter and remove from the heat.

  3. Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the meat until browned all over (you may need to do this in batches). Add the tomato purée, passata, a little water and salt and pepper to taste to the pan with the beef. After about ten minutes, add the chopped vegetables and the crushed garlic.

  4. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked but firm and the sauce has thickened.

  5. Serve the couscous with the meat and vegetable sauce.


  • 150g/5½oz millet couscous
  • 150g/5½oz corn couscous
  • 200g/7oz fonio (or quinoa)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 750g/1lb 10oz beef (topside), cut into chunks
  • 100ml/3½fl oz tomato purée

  • 100ml/3½fl oz tomato passata

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 250g/9oz onions, chopped
  • 100g/3½oz carrots, chopped
  • 100g/3½oz turnips, chopped
  • 100g/3½oz sweet potatoes, chopped
  • ½ leek, chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

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