So, I get the question how to cook couscous quite a lot and I would love to talk to you about this, especially as cooking couscous is very easy. And once you get the hang of it, you will almost certainly find its mild creamy taste utterly addictive.
New favourite carb anyone??
Types of couscous
But, before I go further though let’s chat about the different types of couscous.
Moroccan instant couscous
The one most easily found in supermarkets and corner shops is the instant couscous which is made from small bits of semolina. These have already been part cooked for us so are very ‘instant’ to cook. And this is the type of couscous that I will be talking about in this post.
This is also known as pearl couscous, are larger ‘peppercorn sized’ semolina pieces which take much longer to cook. I think this type of couscous works great in salads.
This is the largest of the three, being almost the size of a small pea so as a result takes the longest to cook. Absolutely perfect for risotto / orzo style dishes.
How to cook couscous
You can cook couscous with just 3 ingredients. Of course, you can add a whole list of other things in it, but for the basic couscous recipe, you just 3 ingredients.
What you need is some-
- Boiling stock
You pour some boiling stock (or water) over it, add in salt, mix it well and cover it with a plate or cling film. Five mins later you stir it, fluff out the grains and cover it again for another 5 mins. That. Is. It. Your couscous is ready in 10 mins.
Other people prefer to steam couscous and that works fine too, but to be honest I think this method is soooooooo much easier that no need to try anything else.
The secret to the perfect couscous
The secret to the perfect couscous is the liquid to couscous ratio, which volume wise is 1 to 1. In American measurements, this is 1 cup of couscous to 1 cup of liquid. To folks over on this side of the pond that is 180g of couscous to 240ml of liquid.
How much couscous per person
Well that depends on how you are going to serve it. If it is as a side to dishes such as this a stew or a lamb tagine for example, then I recommend about 90g (half a cup) of uncooked couscous per person.
If however couscous is the star ingredient for example in the fried couscous or couscous salad, then you might want to think more like 135g and (0.75 cup) per person. If you are still unsure, then cook a little bit extra and use any leftovers the next day.
How to make couscous tasty
Couscous is a good carrier of flavour which makes it a great base for almost anything. The easiest way to add flavour to couscous is to use stock as the cooking liquid. Alternatively, you can add in a little bit of melted butter or flavoured oils.
You can also top with some grilled vegetables and some yoghurt sauce and you are good to go. Adding any variety of chopped herbs, nuts, citrus zest and dried fruits to couscous instantly transforms it.
However, my personal favourite way of making couscous tasty is to add in some citrus juice. I like a combination of orange juice and a little dash of lime or lemon juice. This really, really works.
Some couscous recipe ideas
If you are looking for more couscous recipe ideas then why not try this
In the mean time here is a guide on how to cook couscous. Please do try it and if you do make it, then please do tag #recipesfromapantry on Instagram or twitter so that I can pop over and have a look. It is really, really awesome for me when you make any one of my recipes. You can also share it on my Facebook page.
Thank you for reading guide on how to cook couscous post. And please come visit again as I continue dreaming up recipes, traditional African recipes, African fusion recipes, Sierra Leone recipes, travel plans and much more for you.
How to cook couscous step by step
Mix the ingredients together.
Cover the couscous for 5 min.
Mix the couscous and cover for another 5 mins.
The couscous is now ready to use
This post has been updated in October 2017. This was the previous picture.
- 180 g couscous 1 cup
- Salt to taste
- 250 ml boiling water / stock 1 cup
- Measure out the couscous and pour into a bowl.
- Add salt to your taste.
- Then pour over boiling water and mix well.
- Cover the couscous and let stand.
- After 5 min uncover and fluff up the couscous.
- Then cover again and let stand for a further 5 minutes.
- Uncover, fluff up the couscous, add desired toppings and serve.
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