An easy recipe showing you how to cook couscous and the multiple ways to serve this North African, Berbere dish. Couscous doesnt get half as much as the love it deserves in comparison to perhaps quinoa yet it's so easy to cook and proves to be a reliable pantry ingredient. Couscous tastes great with only a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and seasoning, hower, there are a number of ways to serve couscous.
Couscous is made from tiny steamed balls of semolina flour. Say what? Semolina as in pasta? Yes that one, making couscous a type of pasta and not a grain as you might think. There is a very basic way to cook couscous by pouring the couscous into a bowl, cover tighly with cling wrap and leave to steam. This is the simplest method of how to cook couscous and although we still need the couscous to steam, I will show you how to take cousous up level or two.
What You Will Need To Cook Couscous
- Water or stock
- Olive oil
How To Cook Couscous
If you've never made couscous, you are in the right place for this step by step method.
Toast the couscous: This step is not mandatory in that you can make couscous without toasting it first but I want to urge you to not skip on it. You will use 3 of your senses when you toast couscous;
Sight: The color will change from light a slightly darker golden color (it's beautiful)
Smell: You will smell it, the aroma, I can sense it, completely
Taste: It goes from a bland taste to a warm and nutty crunchy taste
When toasting the couscous, add the salt and the olive oil to the dry couscous.
Boil the liquid: Bring the liquid to a boil and here you can use water or stock whether it's chicken or vegetable stock (chicken stock has more delicious flavor). I've also used on a number of occassions half and half - water and stock.
Add the flavor layers: Into the water/stock add butter
Combine: Pour the liquid into the couscous (and if your couscous is toasting nice and warm) you should hear a sizzle in the pot as you add the liquid.
Very Important: As you pour the liquid into the couscous, it will should take seconds to reach a boiling point (since the couscous was already toasted and hot). The next step is really important: immediately pull it off the heat and put the lid on and leave it to steam undisturbed for 10 minutes.
FAQ How To Cook Cousous
Is couscous a grain or pasta?
Much to the confusion, couscous is definitely part of the pasta family and is not a grain.
Should I rinse couscous?
No need to rinse your couscous, it has no starch.
What cuisine is couscous?
Couscous is part of the Berbere culture, a North African cuisine.
What To Serve Couscous With
Meat, vegetables and seafood, couscous is extremely versatile. Here are just a few recipe ideas;
- Tuna and Couscous Salad - No Mayo
- Healthy Vegan Vegetable and Couscous Recipe
- Forbidden Black Rice And Couscous Salad With Pomegranate
How To Cook Couscous
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 cup water or stock chicken or vegetable
- ½ teaspoon pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Add the salt and oil to the water or stock and bring to boil.
- Meanwhile, toast the couscous in a pan on medium heat with a little drizzle of olive oil to enhance the flavor. You don't have to do it but it deepens the flavors. Regulate the stove because you want to toast the couscous not burn it brown, so you will tell from the aroma and the color will start to deepen.
- Pour the couscous into the boiling water and immediately turn the heat off. At this point I prefer to remove it completely from the stove to stop it from cooking. Place the lid on tightly and leave it to steam for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes use a fork to fluff the couscous and taste for seasoning.