Couscous recipes bring the best of the North African dishes to the world. The meal is made of semolina flour, a type of pasta ground into fine particles and normally served with meat or with vegetable stew for the vegetarian.
The particulate nature of its ingredients lends to a wide variety of cooking methods, but the recommended methods as used traditionally by inhabitants of the Maghreb region is rubbing the semolina flour with moistened hands until it forms into grains and then proceeding for drying them in the sun or in open air. An alternative cooking method may include mixing semolina flour with water and eggs to form dough. This cooking technique is common in Western countries due to their orientation in preparing macaroni, pasta and spaghetti.
The next step after obtaining the grains of the semolina flour is steaming. The couscous recipes allow a variation in steaming methods but steaming over stew is the most adapted method. This process is laborious and entails sealing the whole of a couscoussière (a double part food steamer) with hearthrugs immersed into flour paste. The steaming process is interrupted periodically to chafe the grains so that they do not coagulate.
This is the long arduous method practiced by residents of the Maghreb and Mediterranean basin. In the Western world instant couscous is available for purchase from supermarkets that comes in the form of dried packed semolina granules. These granules are already steamed and the cooking process only involves immersing the grains in hot water until they swell. It cuts the cooking time down to 10 minutes.
Like all other pastas, couscous lacks a distinctive flavor but provides a carbohydrate base for other foods such as meat and vegetables. It is a staple food in North Africa featuring at least in one meal of the day. The citizens of the North African states get creative with the dish and are quite versatile in its use with goat meat passing as the best accompaniment of the dish.
The French innovated the meal with dietary supplements; restaurants serve dish such as Couscous Au Pullet (couscous and chicken), Couscous Tunisien (Tunisian couscous), Recette couscous, Couscous Dari, Couscous Au Poisson, and Couscous Tfaya. Variants of the couscous recipes provide a wide array of garnishing styles; for vegetarians, vegetables and other plants such as chickpeas and carrots are used, for omnivorous people, meat balls are the preferred accompaniment. The meal is best served warm to enjoy the taste and flavor of stew.
The couscous recipe’s bliss comes from its adaptability to regions. In the Western world, couscous is served with salad and flavored with coriander, mint or basil with added raisins or apricot as fruit extras. Nutritionally, couscous is one of the healthiest instant food products due to the availability of vitamins, calories, and low fat in its composition. Couscous is an all family dish served for lunch or dinner, only a variation of quantity is needed to turn couscous into a meal for a bigger family. Due to its health benefits it is recommended for people with high fat intolerance and the vegetarian.