Couscous: History and Flavor
Did you know couscous was a type of pasta? Have you ever tried it? If you haven’t yet, you should. Let’s find out what this food has to offer.
Couscous is a staple food of the Maghrebi cuisines of Morocco, Mauritania, Libya, Algeria and Tunisia. Thanks to the French Colonial Empire and the Pieds-Noirs of Algeria, it was incorporated into European cuisine in the early 1900s. Later, in the 1950s, due to the austerity period, couscous was developed as a wheat-based substitute for rice in Israel. It was initially produced in a rice-shape, which later turned into tiny balls.
Is it a healthy choice?
Its story seems very special up to now, doesn’t it? But what about its nutritional properties? Couscous is a very healthy food that you can introduce in your daily diet. It is a great source of fiber, so it helps us to keep our blood sugar and cholesterol levels balanced, which reduces the risk of heart diseases. It is also low in fat and provides B protein, as well as minerals.
It’s true that this isn’t the most nutrient-dense choice, but thanks to its versatility, you can combine it with other nutritional sources and it makes the perfect match! Moreover, there are several varieties of couscous, such as Moroccan Couscous, Golden Couscous, Pearl Couscous (Israeli Couscous), Whole Wheat Couscous, and others. It’s just a matter of trying them out and picking your favorite one! Anyone you choose would be great for your health.
What’s incredible about this type of food is that, as you can make great combinations with it, you can prepare different dishes with the same ingredients. With its fun texture and appearance, once you learn how to cook it, you’ll have several options in one!
Let’s head off to the kitchen!
If you are willing to learn how to cook this easy and tasty dish, here goes a simple and delicious recipe for you.
- 1 ½ cup of couscous.
- 1 ½ cups of broth (chicken or vegetable).
- 1 tbsp of butter.
- 1 tbsp of olive oil.
- A pinch of salt.
- To begin with, pour the chicken or vegetable broth into a medium saucepan. Wait for a couple of minutes and once it boils, add a dash of olive oil, a little bit of butter and a pinch of salt.
- After that, put the couscous into the pan, take it out of the stove and cover it. Wait for the couscous to steam for 5 minutes.
- Then, remove the mixture with a fork for a while to break up the clumps that may have been formed.
Friendly reminder: serve it warm. And that’s it! Are you ready to eat?
Isn’t it enough?
You may think it’s a great dish, because of its simple and quick preparation, but you may be a bit disappointed as well. Guess what! You can combine couscous with different sorts of ingredients.
You may twist this easy recipe a little bit and make it even tastier. If that’s the case, you should try adding some grated lemon rind and juice. Delicious! Don’t you think so?
Or if you’re a walnut fan, you can add some slivered almonds or toasted pine nuts which will make a huge difference. Can you picture in your mind the feeling of the walnuts crunch together with the couscous softness in your mouth?
Another option is to include some dried fruits, such as currants or apricots, to make it fresher. Or to make a Mediterranean salad out of it. You just need to add tomatoes, red onions, olives, your favorite cheese, basil and parsley –and some olive oil, of course. Voilà!
If you, on the contrary, relish eating meat, the perfect dish for you could be lamb shanks with couscous. In this case, couscous would be a garnish, but a very tempting one. And the whole dish is going to be one of the most amazing experiences of your life!
Some things better not to do
Firstly, try not to use plain water to cook your couscous. It is going to taste way better if you crush some ginger and garlic and add it to the water, if you don’t have any broth.
Secondly, love sometimes comes in the shape of food. So, show some love by adding nice and flavored seasonings.
Thirdly, do not over-season. If you are an amateur cook, it may be difficult to handle spices at first. Don’t worry, it’s nothing that a little practice can’t fix. Although learning how to season food can be tough, don’t give up and your cooking will improve sooner than later!
If you asked me, I couldn’t think of any food more practical and delicious than couscous. Everything you combine it with tastes great, and that’s something difficult to achieve. So, If you haven’t eaten it yet, give it a try. You won’t regret it!