Couscous is a berber traditional North African dish of semolina which is cooked by steaming. It is traditionally served with a meat or vegetable stew spooned over it.
One of the first written references is from an anonymous 13th-century North African cookbook, “The cookbook of the Maghreb and Al-Andalus”, with a recipe for couscous that was ‘known all over the world’.
The original name is derived from the Berber seksu or kesksu, meaning “well rolled”, “well formed”, or “rounded”.
Couscous is made from semolina, obtained by coarsely grinding the heart of robust wheat. Originating from the wheat’s inner seed, and containing all the rich goodness and protein of the wheat germ, semolina is wheat’s finest product.
The world’s first manufacturing plant for the production of couscous was established in Algeria in 1907. In Israel, the first manufacturer of couscous was Couscous Maison founded by David Chriqui in 1969.
Couscous is not generally eaten on its own, but together with a variety of vegetables, meat, herbs, spices.
It makes an excellent vegetarian meal, or a rich accompaniment to meat with beans or whatever you wish to add. Couscous also makes an ideal stuffing for peppers, aubergines, and more.
There are three main types of couscous: Moroccan, Israeli, and Lebanese:
Israeli couscous, these semolina pellets are about the size of peppercorns and will take much longer to cook. This type is usually steamed in the traditional long-cooking method or stirred as one would rice in a risotto.
Lebanese couscous, larger than Israeli couscous, the starchy pellets are about the size of small peas.
One cup of cooked couscous contains 200 calories, 12% of which is accounted for by protein, 87% is from starch, and only 1% fats.
One cup of couscous provides 35% of your recommended daily requirement of nutritious fibers. It also provides a range of vitamins from the vitamin B group along with the minerals needed for its efficient absorption into the body.
Suited to every age group, infants can enjoy couscous as soon they’re ready for solid foods, and it continues to be enjoyed into the twilight years.
Symbolizing luck, blessings and abundance according to North African tradition, couscous is prepared to celebrate a house warming or a holiday.
The food so nice, they named it twice.