How to Cook Couscous

Couscous is a granular pasta derived from semolina wheat. It is prevalent in Moroccan cooking and is both flavorful and nutritious. Preparing couscous is similar to preparing rice or pasta. It essentially involves softening the granules with a hot liquid such as water or a flavored broth. Couscous is carried in most major supermarket chains as well as in health-food stores where it is often sold in the bulk section. This is probably the cheaper method to go, especially if you know that you are going to be preparing couscous frequently.

Couscous has a rich, nutty flavor and makes a good side dish for fish and other seafood dishes, as well as for more substantial fare such as lamb. If the main course is spicy, couscous is a good side dish to prepare to counteract some of the spice. However, as a main course, it makes for flavorful, filling meals that are relatively quick and easy to prepare. It can be mixed with a variety of spices, cheeses or other flavoring agents to tailor it to the specific tastes of the chef.

Listed below are a few ways to prepare couscous. Once you get a feel for the general procedure, feel free to experiment with things such as substituting chicken or beef broth for the water used in cooking couscous. You may also grate some of your favorite cheese over top of the finished couscous and drizzle a little olive oil over top with a few pinches of sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

How to Make Couscous

In this article we’ve listed 2 couscous recipes. For this recipe you will need:

Step 1

Add the couscous and water in equal parts into a pot and bring the mixture to a boil.

Step 2

Once the mixture is boiling, turn off the heat, put the lid on the pot and let the mixture sit for roughly 6 minutes.

Step 3

Once 6 minutes has passed, remove the lid and fluff the couscous up with a fork or other utensil. Sprinkle with the salt and transfer to a serving bowl.

While the above recipe is exceedingly quick, simple and hassle free, there are other, more exotic couscous recipes that are pleasing to the palate. An example of this is listed below. The next time you feel like cooking something different for dinner, give this recipe a try. This recipe consists of taking a spicy stew and steaming the couscous above the pot so that, while the stew is simmering, the couscous is steaming simultaneously. Once the couscous is cooked, place it on a plate and form a well in the center of the couscous. You will pour the stew into this well.

Spicy Couscous

Serves 4

How to Cook Couscous

How to Cook Couscous

For this recipe you will need:

Step 1

Soak the couscous in cold water for 12 minutes. After soaking it, drain it and spread it evenly across the tray for about 20 minutes, mixing it intermittently with your fingers to encourage it to dry.

Step 2

During the drying period, put the oil in a pot and sauté the vegetables for 12 minutes or so, stirring occasionally to keep them from burning.

Step 3

Add the garlic, spices and ginger mixing it in thoroughly. Cook for a few more minutes before stirring in the tomatoes, raisins and lentils, salt, pepper, lime juice (if you choose to use any) and vegetable stock.

Step 4

Raise the temperature to a boil. Once the stew is boiling, reduce heat and allow it to simmer. Place the now dried couscous in a steaming apparatus on top of the stew.

Step 5

Cover the steamer and allow the stew and couscous to simmer for roughly 20 minutes or so. You will know the couscous is ready when it is soft and plump and you can fluff it easily. Fluff it with a fork and remove it to a serving dish. Pour the stew into a separate bowl. Make a mound of couscous on your plate with a well in the center and pour the stew into it. This recipe pairs well with a nice lager, which won’t clash with the spices.

For more information about couscous recipes, see:

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