Couscous, also called kusksi or kseksu, is a traditional dish in the cuisine of some North African and Middle Eastern countries, made from steamy wheat semolina and served with a variety of vegetables and sauces. It is a versatile, nutritious food and is often eaten as a main meal.
Nutritionals values of couscous
Among its most important physical characteristics is texture, couscous is known for its soft and moist texture, due to the gelatinous consistency of wheat semolina. Its taste is slightly sweet and neutral, which makes it an ideal complement to many dishes.
One cup of couscous, approximately 173 grams, provides 650 calories and the following nutrients:
- Total fat 1.1 g.
- Saturated fat 0.2 g.
- Polyunsaturated fats 0.4 g.
- Monounsaturated fats 0.2 g.
- Sodium17 mg.
- Potassium 287 mg.
- Carbohydrates 134 g.
- Dietary fiber 8.6 g.
- Protein 22.1 g.
Vitamins daily nutritional values: 4 % calcium, 11 % iron, 10 % vitamin B-6 and 19 % magnesium.
We can also talk about its versatility, couscous can be prepared in many ways and can be combined with a wide variety of ingredients, from vegetables to meats and sauces. Couscous is a source of complex carbohydrates and provides long-lasting energy. It is also low in fat and no cholesterol.
All this makes it a versatile, easy-to-prepare and very healthy food that has been an important part of the human diet.
Traditional recipe to prepare couscous
- Bring salted water or broth to a boil with a teaspoon of oil in a large pot, as it grows quite a lot. When it comes to the boil, remove from the heat and pour in the couscous, and stir immediately so that all the couscous absorbs the liquid.
- Cover the pot and let stand for 5 minutes.
- When you uncover the pot, you will see that the couscous has become compact, with the grains stuck together.
- Add 1 teaspoon of butter, and thresh the couscous with the help of a fork, turning and stirring until the grains are loose.
Now you can use the couscous to prepare all kinds of recipes. You can take it hot to the table, accompanied with vegetables, meats, cheeses, fish, legumes, etc. If you let it cool it is perfect to prepare many kinds of salads.
Types of couscous
These are just a few of the many varieties of couscous that exist, and each country or region has its own unique version and distinctive flavor. On the other hand, these grains can be made from different ingredients, such as
- Wheat couscous: This is one of the most common and is made from wheat flour. It has a smooth and uniform texture.
- Rice couscous: This is a lighter and crispier version than the previous one and is made from rice flour.
- Barley couscous: This type is thicker and has a more gummy texture than wheat or rice couscous.
- Quinoa couscous: This type of couscous is made with quinoa, a pseudo-cereal rich in proteins and nutrients.
The choice of grain depends on the personal preferences and the recipe being prepared.
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The best recipes prepared with couscous
- Moroccan couscous: This typical Moroccan dish is made with couscous, olive oil, onion, garlic, coriander, red bell pepper, carrot, water and spices such as cumin, black pepper and cinnamon. All the ingredients are mixed and cooked together until tender and soft.
- Couscous with chicken and vegetables: This dish consists of diced chicken and vegetables such as carrots, red bell pepper and onion that are cooked together with couscous. It can be seasoned with spices such as cumin, black pepper and thyme.
- Couscous with fish and sauce: This dish is made with fresh fish, couscous, onion, garlic, tomato, green bell pepper and spices such as cumin and black pepper. All the ingredients are mixed and cooked together until tender and soft.
- Couscous with vegetables and tomato sauce: In this dish vegetables such as carrot, red bell pepper and onion are cooked together with couscous and tomato sauce. It can be seasoned with spices such as cumin and black pepper.
- Lamb couscous and tomato sauce: This dish is made with lamb meatballs seasoned with cumin and black pepper. They are prepared in tomato sauce which is mixed with couscous.
Couscous is a very versatile ingredient, and thanks to its properties and flavor it is present in a wide variety of countries. Just by choosing one of your preferences you can start experimenting and find the flavor you like the most. Enjoy your discovery.