Couscous

Couscous

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From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

The cereal dish of North Africa, consisting of fine semolina combined with flour, salt and water to form tiny, pasta-like pellets. In Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia it is usually served as an accompaniment to savoury dishes of meat and vegetables. In Egypt it is more often served with sugar and nuts as a dessert. To cook: Cover couscous with cold water, stir with the fingers and drain. Stand for 15 minutes to allow couscous to swell. Turn couscous into a fine sieve or muslin- or cheesecloth-lined colander which will fit snugly over a deep saucepan. For 500 g couscous, put 1 litre water or stock into saucepan, bring to the boil and place container over it (container must not touch liquid). Drape a dish towel over the top, fit the lid on tightly and bring ends of cloth up over lid. Steam for 15 minutes, then turn couscous into a bowl. Fork over, breaking up any lumps, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cold water. Replenish water in saucepan if necessary and return couscous to steaming container. Steam as before for 30 minutes.

Turn into a bowl, fork over again and toss with 125 ml melted butter. Use as an accompaniment to stews, etc., or (for couscous cooked over plain water only) sprinkle with icing (confectioners’) sugar and peanuts or almonds and serve as a dessert.

Instant couscous: This is a fast and convenient product readily available at most supermarkets. Pour the same quantity of warm stock or water over the couscous, let it rest for 5 minutes then warm it up slowly with some olive oil or butter, stirring with a fork quite often.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

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