Moroccan Couscous is a perfect side dish to any Tagine. Simple and delicious, need I say more?
Continuing with this Moroccan series, let’s talk about Couscous…
What is Couscous? – Couscous is a popular dish in Morocco and North Africa but is eaten all over the world. History has various theories about its origins. Some believe that couscous, like pasta, was created in China, while others are certain its origin is from East Africa. According to food writer Charles Perry, couscous originated among the Berbers of Algeria and Morocco between the end of the 11th-century Zirid dynasty, modern-day Algeria, and the rise of the 13th-century Almohad Caliphate.
In the eleventh century, the Arab-Islamic conquest contributed to the spread of the dish throughout the North African region. Economic growth and the development of wheat production accelerated its expansion. Later, couscous was brought to the southern region of Andalusia in Spain and reached South America, through the Portuguese that emigrated from Morocco. The adoption of couscous continued in the twentieth century, mainly due to migratory waves from North Africa to Europe, and France.
Today, couscous is the culinary ambassador of North Africa and is an emblem of Moroccan culinary art. Light, versatile, and easy to prepare, it’s a delectable addition to any menu that also has numerous health benefits. Everyone has their own favorite recipe. Here is mine. Enjoy!
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup instant couscous
- 1/4 cup pitted dates finely chopped
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds or pine nuts
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Bring juice and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small pot. Remove from heat.
- Stir in couscous and allow to sit covered for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a separate pan, saute dates, raisins, almonds and cinnamon in 1/2 cup to 3/4 water for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add cooked couscous. Mix well and serve.