425 – How to Steam Couscous / كيف تبخر الكسكس

Ingredients

  • 500 grams dry couscous (not instant) or barley couscous (Belboula)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or Moroccan smen)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Water

Directions

Step 1: Boil Water
1- Fill the bottom part of the couscous pot halfway with water and bring it to a boil.
2- Add a lemon to the water, to avoid the pot being stained with just boiling water.

Step 2: Prepare Couscous
1- Place the couscous in a large plate; I am using the Moroccan traditional couscous plate called Gasaa.
2- Add some cold water, and work the couscous… lift the grains, rub them, give them some love and make sure they are all coated with water.
3- Place the couscous top over a plate, to minimize kitchen mess, and transfer the couscous in the couscous top. Don’t worry, the moist couscous grains wont fall through the holes… I promise.

Step 3: Steam Couscous – Round 1
1- After cooking the meat for 20 minutes, place the couscous top over the couscous bottom. Seal both pots with a cheesecloth or foil, this way we don’t lose any steam.
2- After 5 minutes of so, you will notice steam rising from the couscous. Now start your timer, and let the couscous steam for 15 minutes.
3- Time’s up! Empty the couscous in the large plate, and gently break the couscous grains with a fork. We dont want any lumps.
4- Add vegetable oil, and continue fluffing the couscous.
5- Add a large pinch of salt. Mix.
6- Now add a little bit of water, and continue fluffing, until each couscous grain is plump and happy.
7- Let the couscous rest while you start cooking the veggies!

Step 4: Steam Couscous – Round 2
1- We need to steam the couscous a second time.
2- Transfer the couscous in the couscous top and place it back on top of the boiling water. Seal both pots.
3- After 5 minutes of so, you will notice steam rising from the couscous. Now start your timer again, and let the couscous steam for 15 minutes.
4- Time’s up! Empty the couscous in the large plate, and you guessed it, fluffing time!
5- Add a little bit of water and gently break all the lumps with a fork…. Or your hands if you can stand the heat!
6- Let the couscous rest for 5 minutes.

Step 5: Steam Couscous – Round 3
1- This is the 3rd and final steaming of the couscous.
2- Transfer the couscous in the couscous top and place it back on top of the boiling water. Seal both pots.
3- After 5 minutes of so, you will notice steam rising from the couscous. Now start your timer again, and let the couscous steam for 15 minutes or until done. If you taste the couscous grains, you will actually know when they are ready… they just feel cooked.
4- By the way, you can cook barley couscous called Belboula the same exact way. However, it will take a little longer to cook, so leave it in the 3rd steaming until the barley couscous tastes ready.
5- Once done. Empty the couscous in the large plate, and fluff again… but this time just with butter (or Moroccan Smen)!
6- Look at these little grains of happiness… they smell like home.

Your cooked couscous or barley couscous is ready to be used in recipes requiring it!