If you’re asking yourself “what is couscous?”, it is a North African meal that has become quiet popular in various countries. Many have different opinions as to the origin of couscous. Some say that couscous, like pasta, originally came from China. In all actuality, all the evidence still says the it originates from the North African region.
The Couscous Preparation Process
Couscous recipes are normally steamed and fluffed, so the granules can become separated. Boiling and frequent stirring can reduce the quick cooking couscous to a sticky pile of mush. Therefore boiling and frequent stirring is not recommended for couscous. Just like pasta, it doesn’t have much flavor itself. Therefore couscous meals are generally made with flavored herbs, spices, stocks, even vegetables, different sorts of dried fruit, nuts, and in some cases they will include meat or use as a topping.
The majority of packaged couscous is considered to be “instant variety” and will cook quiet quickly on the stove by absorbing all the boiling liquid. On a side note, authentic couscous recipes may require significantly more time and patience as well as a good steaming vessel called a couscoussiére.
5 Tips and Tricks to Cooking Couscous
1. Be sure to note what type of couscous you’ve purchased weather it be instant or traditional, so you can plan your cooking time accordingly.
2. If you don’t have a steamer, then you can use a heat proof colander inside a stockpot, and that should work fine. If the holes are you too big, you can also line the colander with cheesecloth.
3. So you’ve cooked rice? Great, this can also be cooked just like rice. All you do is heat up some butter, add couscous, stir, add stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to absolute lowest setting, cover and let cook until fluids are absorbed. Fluff to separate, and enjoy.
4. When cooking the traditional method (the longer method) of steaming couscous, covering the pot is not recommended due to the fact that the condensation may drip onto the grains and make the consistency of the couscous mushy.
5. Once you’ve cooked your couscous and your ready to store it for leftovers, be sure its eaten within a couple of days. However, it can be frozen and can stay good up to three months.