8.21.2013

From Semolina to Couscous


Have you ever had freshly hand-rolled couscous? If you have, you would be able to differentiate it from their instant-boxed counterparts. If you haven't then you came to the right place. I'll get you cooking! There are lots of ways to make couscous from scratch and this is how I make it at home.


Couscous is made from semolina through a stemming and rolling process, making sure the semolina gets the right amount of moisture for a perfectly fluffy couscous. It really sounds harder than it actually is. It might not be perfect the first time but if you are a couscous lover, you will love and enjoy the process and hey, you will be making YOUR OWN couscous, how cool is that? 


There is some equipment you need to have before you start, of course a couscoussier would be very helpful but if you don't have one (I don't), you can improvise. I use THIS steamer insert and it works really well. You also need a sieve,  one with a large size holes. Here is a photo tutorial I put together to help you understand the process better. I hope this post will inspire you to throw a Moroccan feast that will impress your friends and family.


Ingredients:

2 cups semolina
2 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste 
water, as needed

Spread the semolina on a large tray. Sprinkle with the oil and a little bit of water (I use a spray bottle, it works great). Gently start rolling the semolina with the palm of your hand in a circular motion. The idea is to add a little moisture before we steam it, but don't over do it, it will get more moisture while it's being steamed. This step will take you about 5 minutes. If you have big clumps, don't panic, just try to gently break them, it will all be smooth once we sift it.

When ready, Add the semolina to the steamer, let it steam undisturbed for 30 minutes (some people like to cover it some don't, I cover it for the first steam only). After the first steam, transfer the couscous back to the large tray, stir it with an spoon to fluff it up and release some steam also, try to break the clumps that might have formed, be careful, it will be HOT. Sprinkle more water like we did the first time then back to the steamer. Steam again for 20 minutes then transfer it to the tray and repeat the process but this time add the salt. Put it back into the steamer for the last time and steam it for 20 more minutes. Fluff it up and sift it. At this point you can flavor it however you like (herbs, spices etc…) or serve it as is. 

Note: Some people like to put a piece of cheesecloth in the bottom of the steamer, I don't do that, as very few semolina will go through the holes of the steamer. Also, I stem the couscous with plain water, make sure the water does not touch the couscous when steaming. 

25 comments:

  1. Fantastic! I really like cous cous, but it is very expensive here in Serbia, while semolina is very cheap. I'll try this once...

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    1. Yes, and yours will taste much better!! Thank you!!

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  2. Couscous, the food so nice they named it twice. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I can just imagine how good fresh rolled would be. Haven't eaten though, would love to try out. Thanks.

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    1. Thank you Asha! It's really good, you need to try it :)

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  4. Thank you for sharing this article, I will try to do

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  5. A wonderful recipe! I love couscous, but have never tried this version...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  6. How cool! It really is just tiny pasta. Great photos, too.

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  7. Najwa, what a great post. I love your process shots and I'm such a fan of demystifying something like making your own couscous. Awesome.
    xoxo
    E

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  8. i am so incredibly impressed with this recipe, i had no idea it was even possible to make couscous from scratch!

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  9. First time here and I'm very much impressed with making couscous from scratch.. Never thought it would be possible at home ! Just wondering, would the couscous be ready to serve or need more soaking in boiling water?

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    1. Welcome and thank you for stopping by! Once you are done with the steaming process, the couscous is ready to serve, no need to soak it in boiling water! Thanks again!

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  10. Strange i never eat couscous - I must show this recipe to my mama! Thanks

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  11. I have always wanted to know how to make couscous. Your step by step couscous from scratch is an eyeopener. Thanks for the great photography too.

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  12. I never knew couscous is made this way!!!! What an eye-opener! I am going to try this :)))

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    1. It really is worth the effort, it will be hard to go back to instant couscous!! Thanks for stopping by!

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  13. Thank you for this tutorial,

    I have a question, can I save this couscous for later consumption or do we have to eat it right away?

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    1. It will stay good in the fridge for a couple of days or you can even freeze it! To warm it up, just steam it again!

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  14. What a nice Moroccan setting, and so well you did on the menu!
    If you come to Morocco, we should sip some Mint tea :)
    Get more info Moroccan Prop Rentals Service

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