Couscous: Couscous Equipment
For everyday, speedy meals couscous can be made from the instant, pour-on-boiling water variety. All you require is a bowl, fork, a saucepan and the simple to follow instructions to cook your pre-packaged couscous in a matter of minutes. Although perfectly acceptable, you will find that the grains are lumpy, sticky and less tasty.
For perfect grains – read: soft, light and separate with a great texture and flavour-, use the authentic Moroccan pot:couscoussier.
Couscous Equipment: Couscoussier
The couscoussier, Keskes, is the basic utensil used to cook couscous in Morocco. Commonly made of aluminium, it consists of two parts. The lower part, a large bottom pot called Tanjra or Gdara, is used to cook the meat, vegetables and bubbling broth. The top part, a tight filling perforated colander called Kaskas, holds the grains of couscous which are steamed. The couscous is sealed using a dampened, floured cloth which keeps the couscous from touching the bubbling broth cooking in the bottom pot.
The other utensil used in Morocco is a fairly basic equipment called Gsaa. This is an earthen or wooden shallow basin in which the couscous is worked and left to dry. You can substitute this for a roasting tin, at least 4cm (1 ½ inches) high.
To learn how to cook couscous using a couscoussier, follow the steps in the cooking couscous instructions.