Saffron Couscous with Golden Raisins and Toasted Almonds
To keep from getting bored in the kitchen you have to mix up your cooking repertoire.
As a chef, I love and appreciate food from every part of the world.
Today, let’s take a trip around the globe and explore couscous.
What is Couscous?
You may wonder, “What exactly is couscous?”
Well, you may be surprised to learn that technically, it’s a pasta. It’s made from semolina flour and water – the same ingredients that many other pastas are made from.
Its origins can be traced to the region of Northern African that includes Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. It dates back to the 11th or 12th century, where the Muslim Berbers first prepared it.
It’s mentioned in many early writings, such as a thirteenth-century Muslim cookbook.
And it was a popular food among explorers at that time.
Lebanese, Israeli, and Moroccan Couscous
Today, you’ll find three main kinds of couscous – Lebanese, Israeli, and Morrocan.
They’re all made from the same basic ingredients and all are small and round, but that there are some differences, primarily in size.
Lebanese couscous is the largest of the three.
It’s about a quarter inch in diameter and is typically finished by toasting.
It’s very similar to Israeli couscous, but Israeli couscous is smaller – about the size of a pearl, earning its nickname, “Pearl Couscous”.
Moroccan, or traditional Couscous, is much smaller, resembling a grain, and it’s dried, rather than toasted.
When choosing the correct kind for your meal, remember that the larger the individual grains are, the more squishy and absorbent it will be.
Couscous pairs well with earthy and savory flavors, like broths, herbs and cooked veggies.
Spice Things Up a Little
Dip your toe into the couscous waters with my Saffron Couscous recipe featuring Moroccan couscous and an interesting combination of saffron, almonds, and raisins. Couscous literally cooks in minutes so it’s perfect for weeknight cooking.
The raisins and almonds boost the natural fiber and protein levels of the couscous up a notch along with a decent amount of vitamins and minerals, as well!
After all, the only thing better than a tasty dish is a healthy one!