I consider myself lucky for having being introduced to culinary from all over the world by my dad. He always introduced us to culinary from all over the world, and it was quite an adventure for the whole family. Chinese food was the first one to be introduced, and it was so nice I even end up with the mark for rest of my life.
I think most of my love for different culinary comes from my dad. It is fascinating how you get to know so much about the culture of a country through a dish.
Just look at this beautiful dim sum. Such delicious delicacy that makes your stomach cry happy tears.
The first bite of a foreign dish always stays engraved in my mind. You will see that it is a hard to forget the first spoon or bite of a dish. Couscous was one of the bites that left another mark in my food journal.
The first time I heard about the word couscous was around 2001 – 2002, and I must say that it sounded a little weird. Many thoughts were going through my head specially the one relating the food with that name. Couswhat? I was unable to say it properly the first time. Glad I was to realize that I was surprise with that beauty. Once done, the couscous was very fluffy and went great with onions, parsley, olive oil and salt. For a side dish, couscous was bad at first specially with a main dish, I thought to myself.
Just like rice is a staple food through Asia, couscous is to North African countries like Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya and Mauritania. It is made of small balls of semolina, which is basically made of durum wheat. Traditionally the dish is made in a couscoussier, which is basically a steamer.
Most couscous available in store are dried and easy to be done. Meaning that once in hot water for 5 minutes, it will be ready to be devoured. Couscous is a very fast and delicious recipe for vegetarians and non vegetarians.
Super versatile couscous is when it comes to toppings and pairing it with other dishes. It can be topped with stewed vegetables or a nice dish of lamb. Perhaps try seffa, which is a dish made with couscous and topped with almonds, cinnamon and sugar. Try to make a simple couscous with your favorite ingredients and seasonings. You will be glad to try it.
- 1 1/3 cup couscous
- 1 1/2 cup stock, chicken or vegetable
- 1/2 cup corn, strained
- 3/4 cup dried cranberry
- 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, strained
- 1/2 cup tomatoes, freshly diced
- A bunch parsley, chopped
- 1 – 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoon olive oil
Add the corn, cranberries, chickpeas, tomatoes, parsley, salt, olive oil and lemon in a small container. Mix it well, and let it rest.
In a small pot, add the stock, salt and a teaspoon of olive oil. Bring it to boil.
Turn off the heat once it starts boiling and add the couscous. Distribute it well throughout the pot and cover it. The couscous should be 5 – 10 mm below the water/stock. This is to allow enough fluid to cook the couscous and still maintain it fluffy.
Do not uncover the pot before 5 minutes have passed. The reason is that once you remove the cover, some needed heat may escape which may difficult the couscous to fully cook and become fluffy.
Uncover the pot after 5 minutes or more and fluff up the couscous using a fork. This action will allow it to be free, especially with the help of a small quantity of olive oil.
Once chilled, add the vegetable mixture to the couscous. Make sure to have an even quantity of vegetables throughout the couscous. Taste it and check if any additional ingredient is needed to please your taste (ex. salt, pepper, herbs or spices).
You can add any other type of vegetable (celery, carrots, onions, etc.), seasoning or remove one of the ingredients. Try to add a dash of curry to the broth and you will have an amazing side dish to go with your lamb or chicken. Be creative and explore the world of flavors and texture. Enjoy it.
Until next time, Hungry People.