Couscous is very popular in northern Africa and is made from semolina, hard (durum) wheat and water. Traditionally, the small grains are made by hand, but they are now also machine-made for convenience. The couscous is dried just like pasta, and it comes in different shapes and sizes: fine, medium and coarse. Wholemeal and organic varieties of couscous are also available.
Making couscous is quite easy. If you go for the parboiled kind, you will have a tasty side dish on the table in no time! Couscous is a versatile product, and is ideal for those who are conscious of their cholesterol levels. You can use special couscous herbs for a special twist or mix in some roasted or fried vegetables to make your dish even tastier.
How to prepare?
You can steam or swell couscous in boiling water. The packages of parboiled couscous that you buy in the supermarket always state that you should swell the couscous in boiled water. To do this, bring the right amount of stock or salted water to the boil, depending on the amount of couscous that you want to use, and remove from the heat. Add some Becel cooking liquid and then pour the couscous into the water. Allow it to swell in the closed pan according to the package instructions.
You can add more flavour to your parboiled couscous by briefly frying it in some Becel cooking liquid first. Fry the couscous on a medium heat to prevent it from burning and then add the stock or water. Leave the couscous to swell in the closed pan and then fluff the couscous with a fork.
Couscous is traditionally cooked in a couscous pan called a <i>couscoussier</i>, a double-chambered pan that is specifically designed for steaming couscous. It is the best way of cooking couscous, but it does take a little more time. The couscous is sprinkled with some water and a pinch of salt, rubbed loose by hand and then steamed with boiling water or stock for 10 minutes.The couscous is then transferred into a wide dish, where it is sprinkled with some water and rubbed loose again.
The couscous is steamed for another 10 minutes and transferred back from the pan to loosen the grains again. Couscous must be well stirred before serving. It can be served with meat, poultry, fish or vegetables or it can be fried or used in salads and soups. For a delicious couscous salad, chicken couscous or meat couscous, take a look at the couscous recipes on this site.
- Parboiled couscous: approx. 10 minutes
- Non-parboiled couscous: approx. 45 minutes
How to store?
Couscous can be stored for a long time in a dry, cool place. You can store cooked couscous in the refrigerator for no more than two days.
Serve about 75 g of couscous per person for optimal nutritional value.
- 375 kcal,
- 13 g protein,
- 0.5 g fat,
- 77 g carbohydrate, and
- 5 g dietary fibre.
If you’re looking for tasty recipes that have your heart health in mind, be sure to take a look at Flora’s selection of healthy recipes.