It is undeniable how popular rice is. Not only because it is everywhere and every country has a recipe to show off, but because it is one of the first choices of an ingredient for many. It is versatile and filling, so why wouldn’t it be? Although nothing will ever beat rice’s popularity, there are some ingredients that could easily put up a fight in terms of versatility. One of those is couscous, which plays a similar role to rice in some cultures.
Besides, there are new recipes including this noble ingredient every day. Have you ever considered including it in your regular diet? Whether you have or haven’t, this guide will definitely convince you. Read all about couscous and learn how to make a traditional couscous rice. You might have found the perfect replacement for rice.
Couscous: ingredient or dish?
Actually, it refers to both. Couscous can both mean the ingredient, which is made from semolina at the same time it can refer to the dish deriving from it. As a dish, it has some traditional ways of cooking, but again, the recipes that focus solely on couscous are more and more every day.
Other than this, there is another common confusion around couscous. Is it a grain, like rice or pasta? Well, even if it looks like a grain, it is pasta. Some go as far as to say it is a hybrid of both and it can be defined as a grain-like pasta, similar to orzo. Even if we got into the whole technicality of how couscous is made and the shape it takes and more, it is safer to say couscous represents a category in itself.
Couscous cooking method and the perfect match
One of the strongest selling points for couscous is that it cooks rather quickly, even more so than rice and pasta. In this sense, it can be cooked in the same way. The water to couscous ratio is one cup of couscous to a cup and a half of water. Using that ratio, use a pot with boiling water and stir in the couscous once the water has boiled, but take the stove to a low heat. After eight to ten minutes, your couscous will be done!
Another characteristic of couscous is that, just like rice and some pasta, you can combine it with a great variety of ingredients. For example, you can mix it with lentils and turmeric. Find and follow this recipe below!
- 1 cup of Pearl couscous with turmeric.
- 4 tbsp of olive oil.
- 1 onion.
- 1 carrot.
- 2 cloves of garlic.
- 2 tsp of cumin seeds.
- 1 tsp of coriander.
- Cayenne pepper.
- 4 cups of chicken broth.
- 1 cup of water.
- 1 cup of red lentils.
- 2 tbsp of tomato sauce.
- Bay leaves.
- Salt to taste.
- Pepper to taste.
- Fresh parsley.
- 1 tsp of lemon zest.
- Lemon juice to taste.
- ½ cup of Greek yogurt.
- Cook a cup of couscous in a cup and a half of boiling water for eight to ten minutes.
- In the meantime, take an onion and slice it. Peel and cube the carrot and mince the cloves of garlic.
- Take a skillet and preheat some olive oil over a medium heat. Stir in the onions and the carrot at sauté. Add the garlic and the cumin seeds together with the ground coriander and the cayenne pepper.
- Cook until the onions and carrots are soft and stir in the chicken broth and the water. Integrate and add the previously rinsed and drained lentils.
- Add two tablespoons of tomato sauce and place the bay leaves. Stir everything together and season with salt and pepper. Bring the mix to a boil and then reduce the heat to low.
- Simmer everything for about twenty minutes, make sure the lentils are soft and tender.
- Add only half a cup of couscous and simmer for five more minutes.
- Now, add some fresh parsley, the lemon zest and lemon juice to taste.
- Divide in serving bowls and top everything with the rest of the couscous and some Greek yogurt. Drizzle all the bowls with some olive oil and serve.
Feel free to experiment to find your favorite way of including couscous in your diet. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!