Couscous with Vegetables and | Harissa

Couscous with Vegetables and | Harissa

Grains of fresh couscous make for golden memories

Those lucky enough to have a mother or mother-in-law who makes couscous from scratch know how delicate, light and flavorful the dish can be.

Most people, even chefs in restaurants, use so-called instant couscous, which can be made in 15 minutes.

”The difference between fresh couscous and instant is the difference between fresh pasta and dry pasta,” says Mustapha Haddouch, owner of Haddouch Gourmet Imports (you may know his jarred olives and olive oil). ”It’s so tasty on its own you don’t need any sauce.”

For most purposes, the bulk couscous available at grocery stores or the boxed versions will work fine. The boxed varieties are pre-steamed, so all you have to do is add water and fluff.

Forming couscous from scratch requires accomplished hands and several days of patience. The process starts with sprinkling salted water on a layer of durum wheat semolina (the hard grains that remain after milling flour) in a special platter, usually wooden. Then, with circular movements of the hand against the platter, little ”pellets” take shape. Read article





1 Chicken whole

2 Onions

5 Carrorts

5 Zucchinis

1 Head of Napa Cabbage

1 Teaspoon Turmeric

1 Teaspoon Ginger

1 Teaspoon Saffron

1 Tablespoon of Salt

½ Tablespoon of Black Pepper

5 Tablespoons Mustaphas Harissa

1 Small Bunch Cilantro

1 Small Bunch Parsley

4 Cups Chicken Broth

5 Tomatoes

2 lbs Couscous


Spread the couscous on a hotel pan, add salt, pepper, turmeric and olive oil. Mix then add two cups of water to soak it. Mix some more and let rest for an hour or until the couscous has absorbed all the water and it is dry.

In a large pot, cook the diced onions in oil for a few minutes, add salt and pepper and the spices (turmeric, ginger and saffron). Grate the tomatoes, then add them to the onions. Then add the chicken, and a tablespoon of Harissa, top it with water and add the bouquet garni of cilantro and parsley. Gently bring it to a boil and then bring the heat to low and let simmer. Occasionally skimming the scum from the surface of the pot. Add the carrots and cabbage after thirty minutes and the zucchini five minutes before you turn off the heat. Cook time about fourty five minutes.

The couscous in the hotel pan should be dry by now. Put the couscous between your hands and rub them separating the couscous grains. Keep repeating this process until all the couscous grains are separated into single grains.

Steam the couscous in a couscoussiere or any steaming equipment you have. Once steamed, you can tell it is steamed when you see the steam coming through the top of the couscous. Put the couscous into the hotel pan and add a couple of cups of the chicken broth to the couscous, mixing it so that the broth is absorbed evenly.

Serve the couscous on a plate with chicken and vegetables. Pour some of the broth in a bowl and add Harissa to taste. Bon Appetit !






Date: Sept. 4, 2001

Category: LIFE // FOOD & DINING

Newspaper: Seattle Post Intelligencer

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