Couscous Recipes: Moroccan Couscous Recipes

Couscous is probably the food most people instantly associate with Morocco. In fact, it is the staple of not only Moroccan cuisine but most of North Africa (Algeria, Tunisia and Libya). Couscous is to Moroccans what pasta if to Italians and rice to the Chinese – families gather around a steaming platter at least once a week.

Thanks to the increased international exposure of Moroccan cuisine, couscous is now one of the most recognisable dishes and recipes are featured on menus the world over. In this guide, we try to stay true to traditional, time-honoured favourites as well as presenting you with cosmopolitan couscous recipes with a modern twist.

Couscous: What is Couscous?

So what is couscous? The term itself comes from the Berber language in which it is called seksou. It consists of small grains the main ingredient of which is semolina – a coarsely ground type of durum wheat. The grains are about 1mm (1/16 inch) in size, and their texture, colour and shape resemble very much rice. These tiny grains make an ideal base for a lot of dishes, much the same way a bed of rice is used today.

Couscous: How to Make and Serve Couscous

The traditional way of making couscous is very time consuming. In Moroccan homes, women gather together and produce large quantities of couscous by separating and mixing together the grains of semolina and then sieving and steaming them repeatedly. These days, with the global appeal of couscous, it is available in supermarkets in pre-packaged form that has already been dried and steamed. You can follow the directions provided for instant cooking but you still have the option of making couscous by steaming in the traditional manner using a couscoussier.

Couscous: Couscous Recipes

Originally, couscous was served with preserved butter and a cup of milk. Today, the variations are infinite and sublime. There are vegetable couscous recipes featuring pumpkin, gourds, chickpeas and others vegetables. Chicken couscous and lamb couscous are flavoured with delicately blended spices. There are also dishes in the regional style, featuring Marrakech couscousFez couscousRabat couscousTangier couscous, traditional Berber couscous and other regions of Morocco, each with its own touch and subtleties.