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Spicy Couscous with Dates

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 whole star anise pods
salt to taste
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 dried hot red peppers, diced
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 large fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped dates
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup uncooked couscous
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock


Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and saute onion until tender. Season with anise pods and salt. Mix in garlic, red bell pepper, dried hot red peppers, and black pepper. Continue to cook and stir until vegetables are tender. Stir mushrooms and lemon juice into the vegetable mixture. Mix in dates and cinnamon, and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes. Place couscous in a medium saucepan, and cover with vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover, and simmer 3 to 5 minutes, until all moisture has been absorbed. Fluff couscous with a fork, mix into the vegetables, and serve.

Source: allrecipes.com