- Tanya Carneiro
Perfect Fluffy Mint Couscous
Couscous is such a versataile side dish [or even a main dish ] that can be dressed up or dressed down and served plain .
However , couscous is very easily and most of the time - cooked improperly , resulting in mushy or pasty clumps which I find sadly insulting to this Moroccan staple!
Traditional couscous is cooked very differently to our boxed couscous most of us are familiar with . The proper way is laborious and time consuming as it requires aerating the couscous so that the granules absorb a lot more moisture. Although lengthy in preparation you will be rewarded with plumper, more tender grains
Although defined by some as a 'grain' ... couscous is actually tiny granules of pasta. Using our quick method - it softens and cooks through by absorbing hot liquids. It is very neutral in flavor (like pasta) and will absorb the flavor of the liquid used in the dish.
The neutral flavor from this couscous makes it the perfect accompaniment for gravy based delights such as tagines or curries / stews.
I adore the delicate but addictive flavour of this couscous dish , unadulterated by any flavouring or stocks - just kissed by a couple of garden herbs and finished with a slick of butter.
Ingredients 1.5 cups plain couscous ¼ cup each of fine chopped mint , parsley . 1.75 cups water 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon butter unsalted 1 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin preferred) Directions Using a saucepan , place the water, butter , salt and oil inside and bring this to a boil. In a thin stream , gently stir in the couscous until all combined and cover with a lid tightly.
Take this off the heat immediately and let this sit for 6-8 minutes without opening the lid. Check if the couscous is soft, if not immediately shut the lid and let sit for another 5 minutes to prevent too much steam escaping .
Once cooked, fluff the couscous with a fork and quickly fold in the fine chopped herbs using the same fork. Never use a spoon of any sort with cooked couscous or it will clump. Serve immediately
You can freeze the cooked couscous for upto 3 months - When ready to serve, reheat it in the microwave until hot and fluff with a fork
You can fold through dried chopped apricots or roasted red peppers for extra flavour