Friday, June 29, 2007

Couscous caught red-handed !

Dear Foodies,


Want a light meal ready in less than 20 mins, try the latest addition to my kitchen pantry, Couscous (KOOS-koos). I must admit that the initial fascination to try these grains of pasta was more for the name rather than the flavor :P I knew I wanted to try it but dint really know what to make with it. I would pass by the aisle where it was perched in the grocery store and contemplate if I was ready to buy. And then when we decided to throw a Mediterranean meal for my friends b'day I finally went ahead and bought a pack of couscous, roasted garlic and olive oil flavor. It was very very nice and flavorful just as is, but we went ahead and dressed it up a little to create a Fattoush Salad. I made a mental note right away to try them later :)

A couple of weeks back I bought a box of unflavored couscous so I could paint it with flavors any which way I wanted. Along with the couscous some other new stuff sneaked into our shopping cart, roasted red pepper with garlic n olive oil and pimentos soaked in vinegar, a perfect shopping cart I must say :P I have been trying various vegetable combos and I am going to keep updating this post whenever I have a winner. Cooking couscous is soooo easy and the recipes are versatile, only limited by your imagination. The couscous by itself takes only about 10-15 mins to cook in which time you can throw in the rest of the ingredients together. A very easy snack or light flavorful meal will only take you 15mins. I would recommend everyone of you to try it. My current favorite combo is the one using the other two entrants in the kitchen :)



Ingredients:
  • 1 cup - Couscous
  • 1 cup - Water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 Tbsp - extra virgin Olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp - Red onion, finely diced
  • 1 nos - Garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 nos - Roasted red pepper from the tin, chopped
  • 2 nos - Pimentos, chopped
  • 2 nos - Sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • few sprigs of lemon Thyme or any other herb you have
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsps : Lemon juice; 1 tsp - Olive oil ; 1 tsp - Toasted sesame seed oil
Method:
  1. Cooking the Couscous: Get the water to a rolling boil, then add the salt n pepper and a few drops of olive oil . Next add the couscous, turn off the heat, cover with a lid and let it sit for 10 mins. That is all ! At the end of 10mins just fluff it up with a fork or spoon to get nice little pearls of pasta. Do check the instructions on the pack you buy though, it might be a little different, you just need to double check the water-couscous ratio. It generally is 1:1 I think.
  2. Getting the veggies ready: Heat the olive oil on a wide pan. Once hot add the garlic and thyme, this infuse the oil with their flavor. Before the garlic gets crisp/brown add the red onions. I like the onions to retain a little crunch, so after about 30secs to a minute add the rest of the ingredients. Saute for a few minutes till all the flavors have time to settle. Season with some salt keeping in mind the couscous has its share of salt.
  3. Getting it together: Toss the veggies into a bowl with the couscous and gently mix them together. Finally add a few dashes of lemon juice and a little extra virgin olive oil/Toasted sesame seed oil.
  4. Serve it in a bowl for a light meal or with chips for a nice snack
I absolutely loved the couscous. It takes on all the flavor you give it. You can have it hot or cold, the flavors just keep getting better. What I liked the best was the lightning speed with which you can get it ready. When I get back home from school, I am hungry and looking for something quick to eat and this one is just perfect. I had the leftover couscous with chips in the evening and loved the pairing. I am sure you guys could use it as a starter at parties/picnics since no re-heating is required.

Other toppings: I have also tried are sauted corn, peas and carrots. You could also just toss it with leftover curries in the fridge or clean up the odd veggies lying around. For something easier use a few spoons of your favorite marinara/pasta sauce. Make a fattoush salad by using any fresh salad veggies. Like I said the possibilities are just endless, so go ahead and have fun !

Only now that I am about to post it did I realize I could have sent it to Trupti for her WBB#12 - Spice it up !! hmmm...


10 thoughts:

Suganya said...

Its ok if you cudnt send that to Trupti. We are enjoying it even before the round-up :). I serve my couscous lightly seasoned with herbs and flax seeds as a side to roasted vegetables or a stoup (Rachel Ray sylte ;))

DEEPA said...

this is so nice ..I have never tasted Couscous ...Looks great...very tempting ...

bee said...

roya, have you tried the whole-wheat couscous? it's even better. the fat istraeli couscous can be made into a great khichdi like sabudana khichdi.

also try stuffing couscous in peppers, tomatoes, etc. i always add chickepas to it, and a mushroom or other boullion (sp?) flavouring.

trupti said...

Oh, now, this is nice....and I am so glad you decided to send it! Looks great and is totally healthy...

:)

Richa said...

so true, couscous sure can be seasoned so many ways! yours looks yum :)

Nabeela said...

I had my first taste of couscous at my local mosque's potluck(the dish was made by a proper Moroccan lady). I'm glad I had the original version first before trying the others...because I've had some not-so-good versions too :(
Your entry is tempting me to buy couscous. If only my pantry wasn't bursting to the brim.....sigh

ushaprashanth said...

Hi!
I am finding different variation of this Couscous here in comments itself!!!! that's very nice!!

Chandrika said...

Priya, you have got me hooked to couscous..It's on my weekend shopping list now..I am always in search of easy meals and this recipe is a keeper...Will try it and let you know...

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

O o this is looking very nice.....DELISH......Lovr it..

pritya said...

Dear Priya,

Sounds like a super snack. Looks good and the recipe is clearly given. The water- couscous proportion, as you say would make a big difference. Have you placed the dish in a Vadagam, that looks so smart.

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