“Couscous” originated in North Africa and is made of semolina grains. The process of making couscous is quite long to prepare and require a special pot but today precooked couscous is available in most supermarkets and facilitate the preparation.
Couscous can be eaten as a side dish like rice or pasta and is very easy on the digestive tract (of course when eaten with vegetables and not heavy meats) In north Africa (Algeria, Libya, Tunisia and Morocco) couscous is a daily staple and is prepare in many different ways. In Morocco couscous is usually eaten with a chicken and vegetable soup flavored with turmeric. In Tunisia a Libya couscous is eaten with few varieties of soups like, beans and tomato base soup flavored with cumin or a fish broth. In Algeria couscous is eaten sweet with butter raisins and cinnamon.
Precooked “Couscous” can be purchased in most supermarkets. They come in whole wheat and regular flour variety. This recipe is very light and satisfying. It specially formulated to suit the vegetarians but meat eaters will definitely enjoy it.
- 1 large cabbage (Cleaned and cut into 8 wedges)
- 6 large carrots (scrubbed and cut crosswise into third)
- 4 medium zucchini (Washed unpeeled and cut in half crosswise and then in half lengthwise)
- 3 branches of celery (with leaves)
- 3 onions (washed and peel and cut in quarters)
- 5 medium potatoes (peeled and cut in half)
- 2 medium yams (peeled and cut into eights)
- 1 slice pumpkin (about 1 lb.) (Peeled and cut in 10 pieces)
- 2 15 oz.cans of garbanzo beans (drained)
- 12 cups vegetable broth
- 1 bunch of dill
In large pot put the oil and heat on high heat place the cut tomato cut in half and cook for 2 seconds. Add all the remaining vegetables and ingredients and bring to a boil. After boiling reduce heat to a medium low heat, adjust seasoning, cover pot and cook for 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Prepare couscous according to package direction (couscous should be fluffy and not mushy).
Place couscous in a deep dish arranges the vegetables and garbanzo beans around it. Place the remaining broth in a soup tureen with a ladle close to the couscous and each guest will take some of the couscous mixture into his soup bowl and will scoop 1 or 2 ladles of broth on top of couscous.
Notes and/or Tips
You can add on the table a spicy red pepper sauce that is called “Harrissa” (found in most markets or middle eastern markets). This spicy sauce is served on top of the couscous. Beware! “Harrissa” is very spicy so, a little bit goes a long way. “Couscous” is a very satisfying dish so you can just add a salad and dessert for your guests.