Are you tired of the same old side dishes? Look no further! In just 15 minutes, you can whip up a perfect batch of couscous that will elevate any meal. Whether you’re pairing it with your favorite protein or using it as a delicious bed for a stew, couscous is a versatile and convenient option. Let me share some tips and tricks to help you cook couscous like a pro.
What is Couscous? Is it a Grain or a Pasta?
Couscous is a pantry staple with Mediterranean origins, and it’s incredibly easy to prepare. But what exactly is couscous? While it may resemble a grain like farro or rice, couscous is actually a pasta made from semolina flour derived from crushed durum wheat. It’s important to note that there are different types of couscous available, such as pearl couscous and Moroccan instant couscous. For this recipe, we’ll be focusing on the small granules of Moroccan instant couscous.
In just 15 minutes, you can prepare a side of Moroccan couscous to complement various dishes, from chicken and lamb to fish and even vegetarian options like eggplant and chickpea stew.
5 Important Tips for Perfectly Cooked Couscous
For fluffy and flavorful couscous, consider these essential tips:
Follow 1:1 Liquid to Couscous Ratio: When cooking 1 cup of couscous, use 1 cup of boiling broth or water (check the couscous package for specific ratios). Too much liquid can make your couscous sticky, while too little can result in a drier texture. Adjust the amount of liquid based on the dish you’re preparing.
Use Broth for Extra Flavor: If you want to infuse your couscous with additional flavor, choose a broth instead of water. Vegetable or chicken broth works wonders.
Toast for Added Depth: While optional, toasting your couscous in a skillet with a little extra virgin olive oil before cooking can impart a delightful nuttiness and depth of flavor. Simply toss the couscous until it turns a beautiful golden brown.
Let It Absorb the Liquid: After stirring the couscous in the boiling liquid, remove it from heat and cover the saucepan with a lid. Allow the couscous to sit undisturbed for approximately 10 minutes, ensuring it fully absorbs the liquid.
Fluff and Customize: Once the couscous is ready, fluff it up using a fork. For an extra kick of flavor, you can add spices or fresh herbs.
How to Cook Couscous
Wondering about the yield of 1 cup of dry Moroccan couscous? It will generously serve approximately 4 people, providing around 2 to 2 ½ cups of cooked couscous (budget around ⅓ to ½ cup per person).
Yes, you can even cook couscous using your microwave! In a large bowl, heat the broth or water for about 5 minutes. Stir in a little olive oil, salt, and your instant Moroccan couscous. Cover the bowl and set it aside for 10 minutes to allow the couscous to fully absorb the liquid.
What to Serve it With?
This versatile couscous recipe complements a variety of main dishes. Here are a few favorites you can enjoy with it:
- Moroccan Lamb Stew
- Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies or Greek-style Sheet Pan Chicken
- Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew
- Lemon Garlic Salmon, Easy Baked Salmon With Vegetables and Feta, or Moroccan Fish Stew
Now that you’ve learned the secrets to cooking couscous perfectly, it’s time to get creative and elevate your meals with this delightful side dish. Don’t forget to check out Ekilove for more inspiring recipes and cooking tips!