Whole Wheat Couscous Pilaf with Mixed Vegetables

Whole-wheat couscous with plenty of colorful vegetables and flavorful Indian spices turns a rather ordinary pasta grain into something scrumptious. With loads of veggies such as finely chopped bell peppers, carrots, peas, tomatoes, onions, green beans, and shelled edamame, this pilaf is veggie delicious 😋.



My friend Devi makes some of the best couscous pilaf I’ve ever tasted. This pilaf is so good that kids love it just as much as adults.

For a healthy and delicious vegetable couscous delicately spiced and packed with good for you veggies, here is Devi’s recipe.


Whole Wheat Couscous Pilaf with Mixed Vegetables
recipe contributed by Devi
makes 4-6 servings


  • 1 1/2 -2 cups dried couscous – cooked according to package directions. This will yield 3 -4 cups cooked couscous. Set aside.
  • 3-4 cups of any combination of veggies all finely chopped. You can use carrots, peas, yellow, red and orange bell peppers, green beans, fresh spinach, zucchini, and shelled edamame.
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp asafetida powder
  • Or purchase a curry blend at your grocery store and use 2 tsp
  • Salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3-4 sprigs of cilantro for garnish


  • In a large pot heat 2 tbsp oil. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Once they stop popping, add asafetida powder and then add onions and sauté until onions are translucent.
  • Add turmeric powder and all the other spices and mix-in. Now add the cut vegetables but not the tomatoes and cilantro. Add salt to taste and cook vegetables for 5 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  • Next add cooked couscous and mix into the vegetables. Add a bit more salt to taste and cook for additional 2-3 minutes, then add fresh tomatoes and cilantro and mix together. Turn the stove off. Add lemon juice and mix-in. Couscous pilaf is ready.
  • Serve at room temperature or lightly warmed in the microwave.


Is couscous a grain?

I always wondered if couscous is a grain?  The answer is – it is not. Couscous is a variety of pasta. Because couscous does not include the nutritious shell of the wheat it is not considered a grain.

Couscous is however more healthy for you than pasta, the main reason being that couscous is made of crushed durum wheat semolina from the cracked wheat, before that wheat gets milled into fine flour.  Fine flour is what is used to make pasta.

What is the difference between regular couscous and whole grain couscous?

What is the difference between regular couscous and whole wheat couscous? According to healthyeatingsfgate.com 

“Regular couscous is made from semolina wheat, while whole-wheat couscous derives from the whole grains of durum flour which is derived from durum wheat that is high in protein. A whole grain has its endosperm, germ and bran intact. These components make up the kernels of grains, which contain all the nutrients. When grains are refined, at least a portion of the endosperm, germ or bran is removed. This is what makes whole wheat couscous a good addition to a healthy diet plan.”  

Here are a few more links to information on couscous.  Is couscous a grain or a pasta?   Couscous. Just don’t call it pasta

Whole Wheat Couscous Pilaf with Mixed Vegetables

If you have a choice of regular or whole wheat couscous, opt for the whole wheat for a delicious nutrient packed veggie dish.


4 thoughts on “Whole Wheat Couscous Pilaf with Mixed Vegetables”

  1. What a Godsend gift today ? I was just looking for a better alternative to Rice or Chapatis and this Whole wheat Couscous Pilaf is the best response . I have all the ingredients including the Veggies …. Devi , can i add Mushrooms ?

    1. I’m so happy you found this recipe helpful! I am positive you can add mushrooms as depending on when Devi has made this couscous it has a wide variety of different vegetables each time. Happy Cooking!

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