When the silly season hits, it is very easy to forget savoury food in light of all the delightful sweet treats on offer everywhere. But come Christmas day, a bowl of something simple and savoury is all that I crave. I am most definitely a savoury person.
Because of the nature of savoury dishes, there are very few you can give away as gourmet gifts. They have to be cooked and they have to be fresh unlike cookies or DIY cake and hot chocolate mixes. Inspired by a recipe in the Christmas issue of Jamie Magazine, I created a DIY Festive Couscous Mix. It is a brilliant idea. With all ingredients at hand, you could create about 20 jars within the hour, tie a bit of festive twine, a label, some cooking instructions, maybe a vintage wooden spoon and be all sorted out for your gourmet gift giving. Or you could make a huge batch and store it for that bowl of comforting savoury goodness when your system has had enough sugar on Christmas day.
I love the festive colours in this mix with the red of the cranberries and green of the pistachios and pepitas sparkling through the light couscous like twinkling Christmas lights. This can be made well in advance and stored in a cool, dry place (a corner of your pantry) until it is needed.
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DIY FESTIVE COUSCOUS MIX
- 200 g couscous, uncooked
- 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon sultanas
- 1 tablespoon crushed pistachios
- 1 tablespoon pepitas
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried red chili flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon dried mint flakes 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
- Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, toss gently to combine and mix well. Scoop couscous mix in a clean, dry 250-300g glass jar preferably with a rubber inset in the lid (airtight lid). Place the lid firmly on the jar. Decorate with festive ribbons or jute twine. Tie a label with cooking instructions. Store in a cool, dry place until ready to use/gift.
- Cooking Instructions - Bring 250ml of water to boil in a saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Remove from heat. Add all of the couscous mix (250g approximately) to the saucepan. Let soak for 3 minutes. Add a knob of butter (1 tablespoon). Mix gently with a fork to separate the grains. Serve warm.
I have a printable food label for free download today if you decide to make use of this very simple gift giving idea! Just print it out on some organic brown cardstock and tie it to the jar with some jute twine. Easy Peasy! As always, please keep my printables free and always link back with proper credit if talking about them on your website/blogs. Much love! xx
I love your blog! I live in Thailand and just order your cookbook. I would like to cook this to my children, but they can't eat spicy food, do I need to reduce the amount of the chili or its sweet chili?
Hi Ilanit, reduce the chilli flakes, they are hot 🙂 Hope you enjoy the book! x
Sneh, this is such a creative (and savory) homemade gift idea! I'll bookmark this for next Christmas!
you just saved me! that's a brilliant idea. will go and get the ingredients right NOW! merry xmas!
This is a brilliant idea, Sneh! I give goodie baskets to family every year and am always on the lookout for neat ideas for what to pack in them, I will definitely be including this one. Thanks for the brilliant tag too, very handy.
This is an awesome idea. I really love the color combination, as well as the texture. In addition, I must highlight the quality of the presentation and of the images.
Originally, I looked at this and was like, "Oh, that's kind of silly." But the more I think about it, the more brilliant I think it is. The fact is that I probably spend way too much time seasoning my couscous over and over again. Here, you've got that covered!
Ok, that's a very useful gift. I can see a friend grabbing that jar on a busy weeknight, relieved to have an easy side for dinner.
Brilliant idea Sneh. Might have to borrow that from you. Beautiful styling and photography.
This is a brilliant idea and it looks so pretty in those jars!
Sneh: a great big 'thank you' 'cause you truly have solved about half-a-dozen of my small gift ideas in one hit 🙂 ! Quite broke this Christmas, was just making lists of what I could get and how much one or the other would set me back 🙁 ! Have everything bar cranberries in copious quantities at home - now just some pretty ribbon and nice cards for the directions!!
What a great idea! Love the tag to go with it as well.
That's a wonderful idea! I often make flavoured salt to offer as a gift, and that couscous mix will be a great addition to it! Thanks for sharing!
I love this gift idea!
This is such a smart idea! You've inspired me to think more savory for my Christmas gifts.
A great gift idea!
Such a lovely gift idea... I am sure it'll tastes as good as it looks 🙂