Quick buttered couscous

Quick buttered couscous

By
From
New Middle Eastern Food
Photographer
Mark Roper

When cooked, couscous grains should be fluffy and separate, not gluggy. The traditional method of steaming couscous really does improve the flavour and texture of the couscous. Couscous has an amazing capacity to absorb liquid, and if inadequately cooked will continue to swell in your stomach! For everyday speedy meals, instant pour-on-boiling-water couscous is really quite satisfactory.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. Pour boiling water on to the couscous, following the instructions on the box — the rule is to use about the same volume of liquid as of couscous. Add a drizzle of oil and stir in very well. Leave it to stand for at least 10–15 minutes, or until the liquid is completely absorbed. Fork through every couple of minutes. At the end of the standing time, rub a little olive oil on your hands and rub the couscous between your fingers until the grains are loose and you have broken up any little lumps.
  2. Dot with butter or drizzle it with a little more olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on medium for about 5 minutes. Alternatively, tip it into an ovenproof dish, add butter or oil, cover it with foil and leave it in a low oven for about 20 minutes. This second step allows the couscous to steam gently under cover and greatly improves its texture.
  3. If you want to jazz it up a little, add some aromatics (like a stick of cinnamon, a squeezed-out lemon half, a few sliced dried mushrooms, some raisins or even finely diced apricots) before the second heat-through. When ready to serve, fluff it up with a fork, season and serve. Or sprinkle on finely chopped parsley and mint, or lightly toasted almonds.
Tags:
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Middle
Eastern
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