I decided to make couscous part of a lunch menu today, quick and easy to prepare with so many lovely dish options.  Upon reading the packet I never knew couscous was Durum Wheat which has been milled into fine semolina, that is essentially couscous.  If I was fortunate enough to be on 'Who wants to be a millionaire' programme and ask what is couscous made of, I would of had too phone a friend.

Then I continued to think 'Hmmm what is semolina then' well obviously Durum Wheat, so semolina is the endosperm of the wheat kernel once the bran and germ are removed.  Flour is actually very finely ground semolina.

Couscous is a staple starch is Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. Where traditionally a vegetable or meat stew is ladled over the couscous.  Couscous is made by mixing 2 parts course semolina with 1 part fine semolina (flour).

The word Couscous derives from Northern Africa of the Berber language where the word couscous means well formed, well rolled, rounded.

To make basic couscous

1/2 cup of dry couscous = one portion

Place 1/2 cup of water (125ml) into a saucepan, add 1 -2 Tablespoons of oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt bring to the boil, then remove from heat.  Pour in 1/2 cup of Couscous, stirring as you do so, cover and allow to stand for 2-3 minutes.

Add 1 teaspoon of butter and heat again on a very very low heat for 3 minutes stirring with a fork at all times to melt the butter through.

Note: the measurement have to be precise, if to much water is added or the couscous heated for to long it can become gluggy and loose texture.

There are numerous recipes out there, at the moment I haven't the time to right one up.  Use couscous hot or cold in salads, vegetarian dishes, to accompany a main meal eg. tossing coriander, chilli, diced zucchini and spring onions through the couscous.  Couscous is great as a quick lunch option for crew or guests plus a great out at sea meal.


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