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Desserts | Orange Flavored Couscous with Passion Fruit Sauce and the Traditional Lapsi – A Risk Well Taken

15 May 2012 25 Comments

Dessert | Orange Flavored Couscous with Passion Fruit Sauce

Gudia, I would like to eat our simple and traditional food” informed my paternal aunt during her first visit at my home. The very popular rustic treats from rural India Daal Baati and Lapsi (couscous dessert) are on her menu for most of the days. “But both the recipes are way too simple, your small Gudia of yesteryear knows to cook many varieties now, aunty” I tempted her with many food choices. “Some other day, this time lets keep it simple” and she changed the topic of conversation. Huh..of all the exotic desserts I know she opted for Lapsi, a simple 3 ingredient recipe!

To impress her with my cooking skills, I tweaked the traditional couscous dessert Lapsi and gave it a makeover. The recipe is slightly inspired by Chef Bobby Chin’s cooking show on TV on Middle East cuisine. The following dessert is cooked in orange juice with loads of dates and berries in it and served with Passion fruit sauce.

This tropical fruit with sticky crunchy seeds inside and surrounded by sweet & sour viscous juice has strong floral aroma. I got the yellow variety of Passion fruit here which are more acidic & sour than the sweet and aromatic purple variety.

The fusion dessert is very filling, yummy and healthy with zero oil or butter in it.

Traditional Couscous Dessert – Lapsi


Dessert | Orange Flavored Couscous with Passion Fruit Sauce


  • 1 cup of broken wheat/couscous
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • ½ cup of jaggery
  • ½ cup of ghee
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • Handful of nuts (almonds/cashew)

Method; Heat 1/2 cup of ghee in a thick bottom kadai or wok and dry roast the couscous (Dalia) in it. Keep the flame low and continue roasting till the couscous turn light brown in color for about 7-10 minutes.

Though roasting the couscous before cooking gives a wonderful flavor, my mom sometimes avoid this step. She says that roasting the couscous gives a slightly chewy and hard textured dessert.

Add hot water to the roasted couscous and stir it to mix well. Cover the wok with a lid and let it cook for about 10 minutes on low heat. Do not stir.

Grate the jaggery and chop all the nuts coarsely, add them to the couscous in the wok and mix thoroughly. Take off the dessert from heat.

Let the cooked couscous dessert stand for 5 minutes.

Serve the couscous dessert Lapsi in individual bowl sprinkled with more nuts and melted ghee.

Orange Flavored Couscous Dessert with Passion Fruit Sauce

Dessert | Orange Flavored Couscous with Passion Fruit Sauce

Ingredients to go in…


(serve 2)

  • ½ cup couscous
  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 3 tbsp. organic palm sugar
  • 1 tsp. orange rind/zest
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp. Dried fruits
  • A pinch of salt

Passion fruit sauce

  • ½ cup passion fruit pulp
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar

Dessert | Orange Flavored Couscous with Passion Fruit Sauce

Method; Mix honey and palm sugar in half a cup of water and bring to a boil. Add chopped apricot, Goji berries, raisins, cinnamon stick and other dried fruits of your choice. Simmer for 10 minutes and take off from heat. Let it cool, pour orange juice in it.

Boil 1 cup of water, add couscous and a pinch of salt in it. Cover the vessel and cook for 4-5 minutes. Pour the above orange and palm sugar liquid in the couscous and cook for another 2 minutes.

Take off the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes.

Remove the lid and fluff cooked couscous with a fork.

Dessert | Orange Flavored Couscous with Passion Fruit Sauce

Passion fruit sauce; Boil sugar in water for 5 minutes and add passion fruit pulp to it. Keep boiling for another 5 minutes and take off the heat. To take out the juice from Passion fruit, take out the pulp from the fruit and mash it with hands or just blend the whole pulp for a second in a blender. Let it cool.

Dessert | Orange Flavored Couscous with Passion Fruit Sauce

Serve the orange couscous pudding in individual bowls and serve with Passion fruit sauce.

Dessert | Orange Flavored Couscous with Passion Fruit Sauce

The sticky seeds of Passion fruit gives the dessert a sweet floral tart flavor and crunchy bites.

Dessert | Orange Flavored Couscous with Passion Fruit Sauce

And for being on the safer side I made both the versions of dessert, the traditional Lapsi and the fusion orange flavored couscous recipe with Passion fruit sauce.

Any guesses on which dessert was the hot favorite of the day?


  1. The cooking time for couscous will vary depending upon the variety used in the recipe. Some couscous variety is very fine and will cook faster.
  2. Replace cardamom powder with fennel powder in Lapsi recipe and enjoy another scrumptious variation.
  3. Shredded coconut added to the Lapsi recipe gives it a wonderful taste.
  4. The more ghee (clarified butter) you add to the Lapsi recipe the more tasty the dessert would be.
  5. You could add white sugar in place of jaggery in Lapsi recipe. Jaggery gives a wonderful fruity aroma to the recipe.
  6. Add cranberries, raisins, cherries, dates or blueberries to the couscous pudding.
  7. A dash of lemon juice added to the passion fruit sauce would give a wonderful flavor.
  8. Replace palm sugar with plain white sugar or brown sugar.


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  • rit said:

    its really seems delicious and healthy.
    you are great sanjeetha 🙂

  • Baker Street said:

    Lovely clicks, Sanjeeta! Absolutely love the first picture. I love how you adapted the recipe. Cooking couscous in orange juice is a fantastic idea.
    Baker Street recently posted..Muffin Monday: Chocolate Chip Biscoff Swirl MuffinsMy Profile

  • the wicked noodle said:

    This looks sooo delicious!! I love that it has so few ingredients but with a big payoff 🙂
    the wicked noodle recently posted..honey-chipotle baked beansMy Profile

  • Deepa said:

    the simplicity still rocks….Lapsi is such a humble sweet …love the twist you have given by adding passion pulp

  • shama said:

    lovely dessert..nice clicks..tempting

  • EA-The Spicy RD said:

    Yum Sanjeeta! I’d love to try this with quinoa or millet to make a gluten-free version. Your photos look so pretty too 🙂
    EA-The Spicy RD recently posted..Weekly Menu Plan and Photo Fun: Sweet Potato Skins and Cowgirl Time!My Profile

  • Priti said:

    Wonderful twist to ususal lapsi …looks fab

  • love2dine said:

    OMG I have to try these

  • Asmita said:

    What a gorgeous dessert!
    Asmita recently posted..Punjabi Rajmah CurryMy Profile

  • Priya said:

    SImply love that exotic twist to usual lapsi,mindblowing.
    Priya recently posted..Fennel Flavoured Spicy Yam RoastMy Profile

  • mjskit said:

    Both of these desserts look delicious! I’m a sucker for anything with cardamom so the first one definitely grabbed my attention. However, the second one – OMG! I’ve never had passion fruit, but I know it’s time! I love coming here because you always have the most unusual and delicious looking food! Can I come eat at your house? 🙂
    mjskit recently posted..Cold Asparagus and Garlic SoupMy Profile

  • Terra said:

    Oh you have my attention!!! I just discovered, I love passion fruit:-) This cous cous recipe sounds soooo good! Hugs, Terra

  • dassana@veg recipes of india said:

    both the desserts are looking good. i love passion fruit juice and the orange flavored couscous with the passion fruit sauce must have been a hit.
    dassana@veg recipes of india recently posted..veg manchurian: step by step & some soy sauce factsMy Profile

  • Conan said:

    Wow that looks so yummy! As a lover of couscous recipes, I’ll make it a point to try these two out.

  • Deeps @ Naughty Curry said:

    looks so pretty, esp the passionfruit sauce!
    Deeps @ Naughty Curry recently posted..Mango Mousse Cake- to celebrate a birthdayMy Profile

  • Jenn and Seth (@HomeSkilletCook) said:

    this sounds so delicious! beautiful dish!
    Jenn and Seth (@HomeSkilletCook) recently posted..Mango Blackberry SaladMy Profile

  • kankana said:

    I love couscous but never would have thought of serving it this way. Really like the flavor combo used!
    kankana recently posted..Stir Fried Shrimp with Lemon AioliMy Profile

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen said:

    I don’t often think of couscous for dessert but this looks and sounds wonderful!

  • lisaiscooking said:

    Sounds like a delicious twist on the classic version! The passionfruit sauce must have been fantastic with it.
    lisaiscooking recently posted..Chicken and Mango SaladMy Profile

  • Karriann said:

    Simple, delicious and healthy with an exotic twist. A triple threat! Love it 😉

    “Spice it Up”

  • Roxana GreenGirl { A little bit of everything} said:

    I’ve had couscous for breakfast, but I don’t think I had ever thought it can be used in desserts.
    Sounds delicious. Love citrusy desserts!
    Roxana GreenGirl { A little bit of everything} recently posted..Orange Cranberry BreadMy Profile

  • Richa@HobbyandMore said:

    the couscous looks and Sounds so delicious!
    Richa@HobbyandMore recently posted..Wheat Bagels – Onion, Poppy seed. veganMy Profile

  • Mary said:

    The lapsi looks easy and very good. I’m a sucker for cardamom and I love the flavor unrefined sugars like palm sugar and jaggery add to a dessert. And passionfruit! Wish I could get that here, I”m sure your sauce is fantastic.
    Mary recently posted..Mother’s Day Picnic Salad with Pea Shoots and Grilled AsparagusMy Profile

  • Katerina said:

    This is such an original dessert! Love the combination of flavors!
    Katerina recently posted..Baby Spinach Salad with Roasted Asparagus and MushroomsMy Profile

  • Magic of Spice said:

    There is absolutely no chance that you would not impress anyone with your cooking skills! This really looks and sounds delicious!
    Magic of Spice recently posted..What’s for dinner? Crispy Polenta and Black Bean Cakes with Mango FriesMy Profile

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