Couscous is really a sort of glorified semolina, which we usually make as upma. However, if you are valiantly trying to escape Indian cooking even if only for a meal, this Moroccan dish is very acceptable to both Indian and non-Indian palates.  I made this version recently when a friend and her little girl were up from Canberra - as a fellow cooking blogger, I thought she'd like a bit of experimentation - and I get tired of cooking only Indian food for guests..ok, I know they like it and demand it, but once in a while its good to let them know that Indian is not the only cooking that I do!

This is the best method, as it actually came out light and fluffy unlike my earlier attempts, and it doesn't seem to matter whether it's ordinary or instant couscous. I used to use the express method, as taught by Nigella, but sadly that didn't work, even though I love Nigella's recipes.

This method is from " A little taste of Morocco" and in true fashion, its from the library. I may buy it, if I cook enough from it. Like I did with Nigella's Express and Feast. Oops, I lie, Feast was a gift from my darling son and daughter-in-law, who keep borrowing it and I have to liberate it from their clutches....but, on to couscous.

This recipe serves 6-8, it says, in reality that depends on how hungry or greedy the diners are. This one was enough for 5 moderately hungry diners, one of whom was a 6 year old who scoffed a large bowlful! Excellent..

You need a large 3 litre microwaveable bowl, oh and a microwave oven. I usually don't cook in the microwave, but this one was an exception.

Measure carefully!!

You need: 2.5 cups, or 450 g of couscous, 2 tablespoons of diced or flaked butter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley ( if you like), and 625 ml water.
  1. Place 2 and a half cups of couscous in the 3-litre bowl, and cover with cold filtered water. Mush it about so that the water filters even over the couscous. Set aside for 15-20  minutes - I'm not sure, as I was too busy chatting to Lana. 
  2. Measure out 625 mil of water in a jug. Its good to keep it in a jug with measures on the side, as you have to use a third of it at a time.
  3. Add a third of the water to the water to the soaked couscous, and cover it with a plate. Not a microwave cover, as you want the steam to be trapped. Microwave on full for 3 minutes. Fork through it to ensure there are no lumps.
  4. Add a third of the water, cover and microwave for 3 minutes.  Fork through it.
  5. Add the butter and salt, and the last third of the water. Cover and microwave for 3 minutes.
  6. Fork through it, and add the chopped parsley. Cover and leave until ready to eat - not tooo long please!
Do not substitute coriander for the parsley, or attempt to add any obvious Indian spices..well, I don't like it at least!

Serve with any tagine ( stew). I served this with Chickpeas Tagine.

What did it cost?
About $2.50 for the 500g pack of couscous from the Indian shop..but I won't do that again, it was a bit stale, maybe indians don't buy couscous...
$0.50 for the butter and bit of parsley...
I would say that this dish came in at less than $3.00.