Preheat oven to 325º.
Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle lamb with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add half of lamb to pan; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with 2 teaspoons oil and the remaining lamb.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add 1/4 teaspoon pepper, parsnips, cumin, and garam masala; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Return lamb and accumulated juices to pan. Add port, chile paste, figs, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover and bake at 325º for 1 hour or until lamb is tender, stirring occasionally.
Combine 1/4 cup water and cornstarch, stirring with a whisk. Add cornstarch mixture to pan; stir well to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 1 minute or until sauce is thick and bubbly, stirring constantly.
Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in 2 teaspoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve lamb mixture over couscous. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Perfect wine: Grant Burge Barossa Vines Shiraz 2001 (Barossa Valley, Australia), $11. This Australian shiraz (syrah is known as shiraz Down Under), has exotic, spicy flavors, which mirror the spices in the dish. And finally, this wine's thick, blackberry fruitiness and almost syrupy softness cushion the bold spices in the wine and the dish.