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National Dish of North Africa: Couscous

With green peas, that is. It’s always been a family tradition for us to have couscous on Fridays. For those of you that don’t know, couscous is a dietary staple throughout North Africa, hailing from Morocco to Egypt. It’s delicious, nutritious, and incredibly easy to prepare.

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1 package of medium-grained couscous (use only 2 cups)
2 cups of green peas
vegetable oil
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
Note: If you don't have a couscousiere, you can always just use a large pot and a colander.
Also, couscous can be made with vegetables, raisins, peas, other dried fruit and even almonds. I just chose to make it with green peas this time.

Wash the couscous in cold water and drain immediately. Let it rest in a strainer for ten minutes. Fill the bottom part of a couscousiere with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, spread the couscous in a large shallow pan and pour 1 tablespoon of oil over it. Using your fingertips, lift and rake the grains to separate them. This is done to break up any lumps that have formed.

IF the couscoussiere's seal isnt' tight: When the water boils, before putting the couscoussiere top in place, dampen a paper towel and place it across the circumference of the bottom part of the couscoussiere. This is done to effectively seal the couscoussiere, to make sure the steam goes right up through the couscous as opposed to through the sides.

Pour the couscous into the top part of the couscoussiere and steam for about 15 minutes. When it’s done steaming for the first time, spread it out into the large shallow pan again.
Fill a small bowl with 1 ¼ cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt; mix together. Gradually sprinkle the water over the couscous, while separating and stirring the grains gently with your hands. Set aside.

Pour the peas in the top part of the couscousiere, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and steam them for 10 -15 minutes.
When the peas are done, pour them into a serving bowl and add the butter to them. 

Lastly, add two more tablespoons of oil to the couscous, and again lift and stir the grains gently. Steam the couscous one last time.

When its done, add the couscous to the peas and butter; stir them all together and serve.

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  1. Assalamu alaykum,
    just found your blog. Mash'Allah.
    It's great! Step by step and lost of lovely pics makes it easier to follow.
    I really like algerian cuisine and generally all of the Mediterranean diet.
    Love couscous. My kids really enjoy couscous wth peas but their favourite is with lamb an vegetables! yum, Yum!!

  2. Aslamualakum sister meriam , thanks for coming by my blog, i am not Algerian but i live in Algeria i have Asian roots. Incedently i am making masfouff today but with mixed veg's and we will inshaallah have this for lunch with laban. I do peas with foul (flava beans) again consume with laban, its such a lovely drink , do you like ?

    I will be checking out your blog as i like you cooking sister , i tend to fusion cook different flavours from around the world mashaAllah and produce culinary delights, works for me :)

  3. Walaykum asalam muslimah and rainbow

    Muslimah- Im glad you found my blog! :)

    Yes, I'm trying to include a lot of step by step photos so that it makes it easier for you to make this recipe at home!
    I will be posting a recipe for couscous with lamb and vegetables :)

    Rainbow- I personally dont like laban very much, but my dad sure does. He wont eat couscous without it!

  4. At last a recipe for masfouff In English. Tonight I will be giving this a try after my husband has begged for me to make this for three years! I have never cooked couscous by steaming it and I think it will make a huge difference as he now refuses to eat it unless done the proper way.
    Hope it will go well tonight as the pressure is on being the first day of Ramadan! Thank you for the recipe.

  5. You're very welcome. This recipe is very easy...I hope your husband likes it!

  6. A success! I wasn't sure I would enjoy it but it was fab.
    Ramadan Mubarak!


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