Moroccan Bento


Although they originate from the east, bento boxes don’t have to be packed with Japanese flavours. You can vary them, filling them with tastes from all over the world. This Moroccan bento is comprised of lamb and apricot meatballs, red pepper and cucumber couscous, with a mint and lemon dressing. To save time in the morning, make it all the night before!

  1. Heat a large frying pan over a low temperature. Add a splash of oil along with the onion and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes until soft, but not coloured. Add the cumin and ground coriander for the last few minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cooked onion mixture with the apricots, lamb mince and chopped coriander. Season and form into 14 meatballs.
  3. Reheat the frying pan with a little more oil, this time over a medium heat. Cook meatballs for 10 minutes, turning while they cook to brown all sides.
  4. Meanwhile, put the couscous in a bowl and add 150ml of just boiled water or stock. Cover with a tea towel and wait 5-6 minutes for the couscous to absorb the water, then add the cucumber and pepper (if you don’t like raw pepper fry it for 5 minutes in a little oil over a medium/high heat). Squeeze over a little lemon juice, lightly season it and mix together.
  5. To make the yogurt dressing, mix together the yogurt, 1tsp lemon juice and the mint.
  6. Pack up your bento with a handful of salad leaves and some cherry tomatoes.

Useful Cooking Information


Metric Imperial
10 g½ oz
20 g¾ oz
25 g1 oz
50 g2 oz
75 g3 oz
110 g4 oz
150 g5 oz
175 g6 oz
200 g7 oz
225 g8 oz
250 g9 oz
275 g10 oz
350 g12 oz
450 g1 lb
500 g (½ kg)18 oz
700 g1½ lb
900 g2 lb
1 kg2¼ lb
1.3 kg3 lb
1.8 kg4 lb
2.2 kg5 lb


Metric Imperial
50 ml2 fl oz
75 ml3 fl oz
100 ml3½ fl oz
125 ml4 fl oz
150 ml5 fl oz¼ pint
200 ml7 fl oz
250 ml9 fl oz
300 ml10 fl oz½ pint
425 ml15 fl oz¾ pint
600 ml20 fl oz1 pint
800 ml1½ pint
1 l1¾ pints
1.2 l2 pints
1.5 l2½ pints
1.8 l3 pints
2 l3½ pints


Metric Imperial
5 mm¼ inch
1 cm½ inch
2 cm¾ inch
2.5 cm1 inch
3 cm1¼ inches
4 cm1½ inches
5 cm2 inches
10 cm3 inches
15 cm4 inches
20.5 cm6 inches
23 cm9 inches
25 cm10 inches
30 cm12 inches

Spoon measures - mean level measures unless the recipe says 'heaped'

Eggs - are always large for baking, unless recipe says otherwise

Oven Temperatures

Gas °F °C
Mark 1275140

Fan assisted ovens - remember to reduce temperatures by 20°C

Most Useful US/European Conversions

ButterUS 1 cup / 2 sticks8 oz220 g
SugarUS 1 cup6 oz175 g
FlourUS 1 cup4 oz110 g
LiquidUS 1 cup8 fl oz225 ml
Prepped OnionsUS 1 cup4 oz110 g
Cheese, GratedUS 1 cup4 oz110 g
Diced FruitUS 1 cup5 oz150 g
Fresh BreadcrumbsUS 1 cup2 oz55 g

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