Couscous is probably the fastest and easiest of all grains to cook. If you can boil water, you can cook couscous! That is all there is to it.
Couscous is the staple grain for much of North African and Middle Eastern countries. It is traditionally served with a vegetarian or meat stew on top. This couscous recipe is more of a follow up on last week’s chickpea tagine recipe. A tagine is almost always served with couscous and I felt that I should share the recipe for cooking couscous as well. But it is absolutely so simple that I didn’t even know how to start. 🙂
When we were in Morocco, we had couscous with all our meals and I also brought back some of that authentic dried couscous with me. Initially, I would use it only with tagine, but slowly, I’ve started using couscous with many Indian curries too. They go very well with black chickpeas curry, soy nuggets curry, and also potato and coconut milk curry. Actually, couscous doesn’t have much of a flavor itself so it would pair well with most curries and stews.
What is couscous made of?
Couscous is made of wheat semolina (so it is not a gluten-free grain). The semolina is sprinkled with water and rolled with the hands to form small pellets. Then sprinkled with dry flour to keep them separate, and then sieved and dried in the sun to use over several months. Traditionally groups of women would come together to make large batches for all the families.
To cook, the dried couscous is moistened and then steamed until it is light and fluffy.
How to cook instant couscous?
Most of the dried couscous that we get in Western supermarkets is quick-cooking instant couscous which is pre-steamed and dried. So we don’t need to do anything but just rehydrate them.
I use 1.5 measures of boiled water to cook one measure of couscous.
For more flavors, you can also use stock instead of boiled water. Just place the couscous in the serving dish, add boiled water and let it stand covered for 5 minutes. Open and fluff with a fork to separate the granules. That is it!
Whenever I am short on time for cooking dinner, couscous is my grain savior. I just wish it was gluten-free as well so I could make it more often :-). If you like this quick how-to recipe please do leave me a message. It really motivates me to continue exploring and sharing.
How to cook instant couscous
Ingredients (1cup = 240ml; 1tbsp = 15ml; 1tsp = 5ml)
- 1 cup instant couscous
- 1.5 cups water or use stock
- 1 pinch salt
- Bring water to boil in a kettle or pot.
- Place the instant couscous in a serving bowl or another pot.
- Sprinkle salt over couscous and lightly mix with fingers.
- Add boiled water (or stocover the couscous. Cover and let it stand for 5-10 minutes.
- Open and fluff with a fork.
- Couscous is ready to be served.
- Do not boil or stir instant couscous as it would result in a starchy and sticky mush.
- Nutritional Information is the approximate information for 1 of 3 servings.
- Since it is so easy and quick to cook couscous, I wouldn’t suggest making more than what you need but leftovers will keep well in the fridge for a day or max 2.
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