Dinner Meat Moroccan Recipes Moroccan Tajine and Main Dishes

Moroccan Couscous

Moroccan couscous

Moroccan Couscous is a traditional Moroccan usually served on Fridays and big gathering. It truly is the ultimate crowd pleaser. I am honored to say that my dear mother cooked this couscous. I was just snapping pictures. And I am pleased to share it with you.

It is not an easy dish to make, and it definitely takes a few hours of your time (at least 3), but it is worth every effort and every second you put into it. So gather your ingredients, and let’s get cooking!

PS: for wording the recipe I used about.com but changed a few ingredients based on my mom’s method.

Prep time: 1 hour

Cook time: 2.5 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg (2 lbs. 3 oz.) dry couscous (not instant)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • ——————————————————————
  • 2 lbs. of lamb or beef, cut into large pieces on the bone
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 tomatoes, cut in wedges with skin left on
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Ras El Hanout
    (optional)
  • 1 handful of parsley and cilantro sprigs, tied into a bouquet
  • 1 cube of knorr
  • ——————————————————————
  • 3 or 4 turnips, peeled and halved
  • 3 to 4 long white turnips
  • 10 carrots, peeled and halved
  • 1 small acorn squash, quartered (or a small section of pumpkin, cut into 3″ pieces)
  • 3 to 4 small zucchini (long or 8-ball round), ends removed and halved
  • 3 to 4 Mexican squash, ends removed and halved
    1/2 cup dry chickpeas soaked overnight (optional)
    ——————————————————————
    2 tablespoons butter (for the couscous)
    1 tablespoon salt (for the couscous)
    1 teaspoon Smen
    (Moroccan preserved butter – optional)

Directions: Moroccan couscous 1 In a large heavy pot mix the meat, onion, tomatoes, oil and spices. Moroccan couscous 2 Cook uncovered over medium to medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until the meat is browned and the onions and tomatoes have formed a thick sauce. Moroccan couscous 3 Add about 2 1/2 quarts) of water, the parsley/cilantro bouquet, and the chick peas. Cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer rapidly for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the meat I fork tend. Moroccan couscous 5 Steaming the couscous: we will steam the couscous 3 times. Each stage is a bit different. Let’s get started:

First Steaming of the Couscous

While the meat is cooking, get the couscous ready for its first steaming. Oil the steamer basket and set it aside. Empty the dry couscous into a very large bowl, and work in 1/4 cup of vegetable oil with your hands, tossing the couscous and rubbing it between your palms. (This will help prevent the couscous grains from clumping together.) Next, work in 1 cup of water in the same manner, using your hands to evenly distribute the liquid into the couscous. Transfer the couscous to the oiled steamer basket. Once you see steam rising from the couscous, steam the couscous for 15 minutes.

Note: If you see steam escaping from between the basket and couscoussier, you’ll need to seal the joint. You can do this in several ways:

  • wrap and tie a long piece of damp cloth over the joint, or
  • tightly wrap a long piece of kitchen plastic film around the joint, or
  • wrap and drape a long piece of kitchen plastic film onto the rim of the couscoussier, and then place the basket on top (this is my preferred method)

Moroccan couscous 6 Once the couscous has steamed for 15 minutes, empty it back into your large bowl and break it apart.

Second Steaming of the Couscous

When the couscous has cooled enough to handle, gradually work in 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt with your hands. Again, toss the couscous and rub it between your palms to break up any balls or clumps. Transfer the couscous back into the steamer, taking care not to pack or compress the couscous.

When the couscous has steamed for 15 to 20 minutes, turn it out into the large bowl again. Break it apart, and leave to cool a few minutes. Moroccan couscous 7 Once the meat is cooked, add all the vegetables to the pot and sprinkle the bouillon on the vegetables. Cover the pot and allow it to cook for another 20 to 30minutes.

While the vegetables are cooking, get the couscous ready for the third steaming.

Gradually work 3 cups of water into the couscous with your hands, tossing it and rubbing the grains between your palms. Taste the couscous, and add a little salt if desired.

Transfer about half of the couscous to the steamer basket. Again, try to handle the couscous lightly and avoid packing it into the steamer.

When you see the steam rise through the couscous, carefully add the remaining couscous to the steamer. Continue cooking, watching for the steam to rise from the couscous. Allow the couscous to steam a third time for a full 15 to 20 minutes. Moroccan couscous 9 Once the vegetables are cooked, add a tablespoon ofSmen
(aged butter) to the pot and allow it to melt. Moroccan couscous 10 Empty the couscous into the large bowl, and break it apart. Mix in the 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 ladles of broth.
To serve the couscous, shape it into a mound with a well in the center. Moroccan couscous 11 Put the meat into the well, and arrange the vegetables on top and all around. Moroccan couscous 12 Distribute the broth evenly over the couscous and vegetables, reserving one or two bowlfuls to offer on the side for those who prefer more. Moroccan couscous 13 Enjoy the Moroccan Couscous hot with family and friends!

Moroccan Couscous
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Loubna El Maziati:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • ◾1 kg (2 lbs. 3 oz.) dry couscous (not instant)
  • ◾1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • ◾——————————————————————
  • ◾2 lbs. of lamb or beef, cut into large pieces on the bone
  • ◾1 large onion, sliced
  • ◾3 tomatoes, cut in wedges with skin left on
  • ◾1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • ◾1½ tablespoons salt
  • ◾1 tablespoon pepper
  • ◾2 teaspoons ginger
  • ◾1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ◾1/2 teaspoon of ras al hanout (optional)
  • ◾1 handful of parsley and cilantro sprigs, tied into a bouquet
  • ◾1 cube of knorr
  • ◾——————————————————————
  • ◾3 or 4 turnips, peeled and halved
  • ◾3 to 4 long white turnips
  • ◾10 carrots, peeled and halved
  • ◾1 small acorn squash, quartered (or a small section of pumpkin, cut into 3″ pieces)
  • ◾3 to 4 small zucchini (long or 8-ball round), ends removed and halved
  • ◾3 to 4 Mexican squash, ends removed and halved
  • ½ cup dry chickpeas soaked overnight (optional)
  • ——————————————————————
  • 2 tablespoons butter (for the couscous)
  • 1 tablespoon salt (for the couscous)
  • 1 teaspoon Smen (Moroccan preserved butter – optional)
Directions
  1. In a large heavy pot mix the meat, onion, tomatoes, oil and spices.
  2. Cook uncovered over medium to medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until the meat is browned and the onions and tomatoes have formed a thick sauce.
  3. Add about 2½ quarts) of water, the parsley/cilantro bouquet, and the chick peas. Cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer rapidly for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the meat I fork tend.
  4. Steaming the couscous: we will steam the couscous 3 times. Each stage is a bit different:
  5. First Steaming of the Couscous:
  6. While the meat is cooking, get the couscous ready for its first steaming. Oil the steamer basket and set it aside. Empty the dry couscous into a very large bowl, and work in ¼ cup of vegetable oil with your hands, tossing the couscous and rubbing it between your palms. (This will help prevent the couscous grains from clumping together.) Next, work in 1 cup of water in the same manner, using your hands to evenly distribute the liquid into the couscous. Transfer the couscous to the oiled steamer basket. Once you see steam rising from the couscous, steam the couscous for 15 minutes.
  7. Note: If you see steam escaping from between the basket and couscoussier, you’ll need to seal the joint. You can do this in several ways:
  8. ◾wrap and tie a long piece of damp cloth over the joint, or
  9. ◾tightly wrap a long piece of kitchen plastic film around the joint, or
  10. ◾wrap and drape a long piece of kitchen plastic film onto the rim of the couscoussier, and then place the basket on top (this is my preferred method)
  11. Once the couscous has steamed for 15 minutes, empty it back into your large bowl and break it apart.
  12. Second Steaming of the Couscous
  13. When the couscous has cooled enough to handle, gradually work in 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt with your hands. Again, toss the couscous and rub it between your palms to break up any balls or clumps. Transfer the couscous back into the steamer, taking care not to pack or compress the couscous.
  14. When the couscous has steamed for 15 to 20 minutes, turn it out into the large bowl again. Break it apart, and leave to cool a few minutes.
  15. Once the meat is cooked, add all the vegetables to the pot and sprinkle the bouillon on the vegetables. Cover the pot and allow it to cook for another 20 to 30minutes.
  16. While the vegetables are cooking, get the couscous ready for the third steaming.
  17. Gradually work 3 cups of water into the couscous with your hands, tossing it and rubbing the grains between your palms. Taste the couscous, and add a little salt if desired.
  18. Transfer about half of the couscous to the steamer basket. Again, try to handle the couscous lightly and avoid packing it into the steamer.
  19. When you see the steam rise through the couscous, carefully add the remaining couscous to the steamer. Continue cooking, watching for the steam to rise from the couscous. Allow the couscous to steam a third time for a full 15 to 20 minutes.
  20. Once the vegetables are cooked, add a tablespoon of aged butter to the pot and allow it to melt.
  21. Empty the couscous into the large bowl, and break it apart. Mix in the 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 ladles of broth.
  22. To serve the couscous, shape it into a mound with a well in the center.
  23. Put the meat into the well, and arrange the vegetables on top and all around.
  24. Distribute the broth evenly over the couscous and vegetables, reserving one or two bowlfuls to offer on the side for those who prefer more.
  25. Enjoy the Moroccan Couscous hot with family and friends!

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