No one likes soggy and gluggy Couscous right!! So how to make perfectly fluffy and soft couscous.
The first rule of cooking couscous: You do not COOK couscous; you PREPARE couscous.
We would normally think that couscous is a grain, but really, those tiny little granules are a type of pasta, made from semolina flour. Couscous is a traditional staple of North and West Africa and the Middle East but is eaten in many parts of the world. It’s a great companion to meat, stews, and veggies of all kinds. It makes a healthier and tastier replacement for rice.
Kinds of Couscous
There isn't just one kind of couscous. There’s regular old couscous made from semolina wheat and whole wheat couscous, which uses the whole grain. And there is also Israeli, or Middle Eastern couscous, which is larger and pearl-shaped. Technically, Israeli couscous is closer to Orzo pasta. Mostly what you get in the market is instant couscous which is faster and convenient to prepare. This is couscous that has already been steamed and dried for us. It only needs to be mixed with boiling water and allowed to sit undisturbed for a few minutes before being ready to eat.
It's very important to keep in mind the ratio of water and couscous, which is generally 1:1. Bring the water to a boil — you can do this on the stove or even in the microwave. Then remove the water from heat, dump in the couscous, cover, and let sit for 5–10 minutes. Once those little granules have absorbed all the liquid, fluff the cooked couscous with a fork and serve.
You can add flavor of your choice to the couscous. Before boiling you can add 1/2 tsp of salt, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp butter or use vegetable broth instead of water. After the couscous is prepared sky is the limit on how you can serve it. You can add your favorite veggies, spices, herbs, cheese, etc. and serve it alongside your meats, fish, or stir-fry veggies.
You can also toast the couscous as it gives more flavor. Melt the butter or olive oil in the saucepan. Stir in the couscous until it smells fragrant and toasty. Boil the water separately, pour over the couscous, and proceed as normal.
Common mistakes while preparing Couscous
- You don’t use the proper water-to-couscous ratio
- You add the couscous before the water has boiled
- You don’t let it sit long enough
- You forget to fluff
Here is a recipe of a perfect summer couscous salad that you can try at home - http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2394/summer-couscous-salad
Photo Credit - http://www.taste.com.au/how+to/articles/1161/how+to+prepare+couscous
Source Links: http://www.tablespoon.com/posts/how-to-cook-couscous/83c497ae-36f3-4681-8a90-6501e0a7feb2, http://www.eatingwell.com/blogs/healthy_cooking_blog/5_couscous_cooking_mistakes_to_avoid, http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2394/summer-couscous-salad