What is Couscous?
The word couscous is derived from Arabic, but the dish is typically considered part of North African cuisine which includes Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria. Still, it also plays a large role in Middle Eastern dishes.
But what is couscous exactly? Is it a grain? Is it pasta? The short answer is that it is pasta. Basically, it is little balls of semolina.
In Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya, couscous is generally served with an array vegetables (carrots, turnips, zucchini... cooked in a spicy or mild broth or stew, and some meat (generally, chicken and lamb).
Merguez: Merguez is a sausage made with uncooked lamb and/or beef or a mixture, spiced with cumin, chili pepper or harissa which gives its characteristic spiciness and red color, as well as other spices. Merguez is usually eaten grilled. But also excellent eaten in sandwiches like a hot dog with French fries.
Ingredients for 6 People:
- 1 Onion
- 50 gr of butter or olive oil
- 8-10 oz Carrot
- 8-10 oz Turnip
- 8/10 oz Zucchini
- 1 can of tomato puree
- 6 pieces of chicken
- 6 merguez
- 1 green or yellow bell pepper
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 can of peeled tomatoes
- 1 can chickpea
- Celery sticks, a couple
- Harissa or Piment d'Espelette
- Pepper: White and/or black
- Ginger: dried is fine or fresh
Peel the carrots, turnips, zucchini, remove strings in celery sticks, cut in pieces. Slice the bell peppers. Wash all the vegetables. set aside.
Boil 75cl (3.5 cups) of water, add the can of tomato paste, a teaspoon of Piment d'Espelette, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and camino.
In the pan that you would use to cook a stew (Le Creuzet, Cast iron pan...) brown the onion in butter or oil, add the cut vegetables add about half of the bouillon you just prep, the can of chickpeas, the peeled tomatoes. Mix well and add some more pepper, Piment d'Esplette, Safran to taste.
Cook on slow heat for about an hour and half.
Once ready add the meats: chicken pieces, merguez sausages, meatballs as well as the rest of your bouillon.
Cook for another hour and a half.
Prepare the couscous grain:
Put the couscous grain in a soup bowl with butter. Boil some water. once boiling pour on top of the grain so it is covered. Mix with a fork and cover for about 5 minutes. The grain will absorb the water and expand.
You would serve it in a soup bowl. Put the couscous on the bottom, the vegetables and the meat on top and pour the juice over.
Bon Appetit mes Amis