Aida’s Dawood Basha served with Couscous

From Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

2014 Mar/Apr

Aida, the owner and chef at Aida’s Bistro, has a Lebanese background. She does not profess to serve a traditional North African couscous; instead she uses the tiny grains as a delicious alternative to rice. This is her recipe for Dawood Basha, meatballs sautéed with zucchini, eggplant and green pepper in pomegranate molasses, served with couscous.


For the meatballs:

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the vegetables and sauce:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 medium eggplant, chopped
  • 2 green peppers, seeded and diced
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 2-3 T. olive oil
  • 1/3-1/2 c. pomegranate molasses
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 package instant couscous


Prepare the meatballs first. Mix together the ground beef, diced onion, salt and ground pepper until combined. Roll the beef mixture into tiny meatballs the size of your thumbnail. Set the meatballs aside while you prepare the vegetables.

Chop each of the vegetables to a medium-sized dice. Heat the olive oil on moderate heat and sauté the onion until translucent, 2-3 minutes. Add the meatballs and allow them to brown slightly, but not to cook completely. Add the diced zucchini, eggplant and pepper, and cook until the vegetables start to soften. Add the diced tomatoes and cook until they soften. Add the pomegranate molasses, salt and pepper. Cook the mixture, uncovered, on low heat until the sauce begins to thicken.

Prepare the couscous. Serve it warm with the Dawood Basha on individual plates.
Serves 4 to 6.