Do you want to know how to make an authentic and traditional Moroccan Couscous? Try our recipe of the Moroccan Couscous with Vegetables with these step by step instructions.
Moroccan Couscous with vegetables
The Couscous Semolina preparation
- Place your couscous in a large dish
- Add 1 TBSP of olive oil
- Rub the couscous in your hands to make it even
- Pour in one bowl of water
- Let it to absorb for about 10 mn
- Put the couscous in the upper pot of your steamer (it has to be a deep one like this)
- Pour water in the second pot at a little more than half of the pot's size
- Place on the stove and let it steam for 25mn
- After 25mn, take the couscous out of the pot and place it in the large dish used earlier
- Mix it with a large spoon to let it breathe
- Take one bowl of water mixed with 1 tsp of salt
- Pour the water on the couscous and mix
- Let the couscous absorb the water for another 10 to 15mn
- Rub the couscous again in your hands to remove any lumps
- Place the couscous back in the steamer on the stove for another 20mn
- After 20 mn, take it out again place it in the large dish
- add 1TBSP of olive oil
- Rub in your hands again to remove any lumps
- Your couscous semolina is ready! Now on to the sauce
- Preparing all ingredients makes it so easier so let's start!
- Remove the skin of your carrots, cut them in half in their length then cut open each half
- Remove the heart of the carrot with a knife (optional step)
- Remove the skin of Turnip and cut them in big quarter
- Remove the skin of the Zuchini - I stripe it by removing every other line so It stays green - I also remove the heart (optional step)
- Chop the onion in small quarter
- Chop the Flat parsley and Cilantro/Coriander
- Cut the ring bell pepper in large quarter and remove the seeds from the inside
- In a bowl, add 1/2 TSP of black pepper, 1/2 TSP of white pepper, 1TSP of Tumeric, 1 TSP of Ginger, 1TSP of salt
- Pour peas in a bowl and let it defreeze at normal temperature (it is fine if it is still frozen by the time you need to pour it in the sauce
- Grate the two tomatos to form a paste and add one TSP of flat parsley and coriander - set it aside as it will be used as one of the last step
The making of the couscous stew
- Pour 1 1/2 TBSP of olive oil in the pot
- Place the meat and stir for 5mn
- Add the chopped onions and stir for another 5mn
- Add the spices in (Ginger, tumeric, Salt and the peppers) and mix - let the spice be absord by the meat for another 3 to 5mn (it shouldn't burn so keep stirring if needed)
- Add the carrots and turnips
- Pour boiled water over it all to cover slightly the ingredients in the pot
- Let it cook for about 20 to 25 mn -
- Half way - add the ring pepper, the zuchini and the peas
- Let it cook for another 20 to 25mn
- Add the tomatos paste prepared with the herbs into the mixture
- cook it until the meat is tender and add salt if needed
Answerting some questions you may have:
How to make spicy Moroccan couscous?
Moroccan couscous are usually not spicy. However, everyone is different and some might like it spicier! If so, add more black pepper to the sauce. I would not advise to add any other spices. The reason for that is because it is the vegetables that give the taste to the sauce, adding other spice will change the traditional flavor of this dish. Alternatively, some of the sauce can be taken out of the pot and placed in a bowl to which you will add a spicy paste like the Tunisian harissa or any other spicy mix of your choice. Mix it and used it on your portion in case not all guests want it spicy. Place it on the table as a side option 🙂
Is Moroccan couscous gluten free?
Couscous is not gluten free since it is made from wheat. A gluten free option would be to replace the couscous semolina with Quinoa. In that case, you don’t have to go through the steps mentioned above for the preparation of the semolina. You can cook your quinoa separately and serve the sauce on it
How to prepare Moroccan couscous?
There are as many ways to prepare the couscous as there are Moroccan households!
However there are some commonalities. The couscous semolina needs to be soft and not lumpy, almost melting in your mouth. The sauce is usually not spicy. And It is cooked with many vegetables. Carrots, turnips and Zuchini being the most popular options, but depending the season or the taste, other vegetables like pumpkin, cabbage, chickpeas, or broad beans can also be added.
What meat is best with the Moroccan couscous?
The morrocan couscous can be prepared with all type of meat, but most usually Chicken, lamb and beef are preferred.
You can find Couscous made with Fish or shrimps/prawns, too
How to cook Moroccan couscous with vegetables?
The secret of well cooked Moroccan couscous is vegetable timing!
That is why in our recipe, carrots and turnips – which take more time to cook – are placed in the pot first and cooked half way before adding softer and quicker to cook vegetables like Zuchinis for example.
Respecting the right timing to add the vegetables in, is the real secret to have deliciously vegetable flavoured couscous without having vegetables all mushed type of results
How to serve Moroccan couscous?
In Morocco, the couscous is served in one unique large serving dish like this one. It is common for 5 to 6 people to eat from the same plate. It is part of the conviviality and the traditional way of sharing a meal.
Place the semolina first, forming a little cone to which you will flatten the top.
At the top, place the meat, then the sauce all over, then place the vegetables all around it.
Now, if you don’t have a large dish or don’t want to share your plate with 5 other people you can recreate the presentation for yourself as we did in the picture 🙂
I hope you find our recipe and answers on Moroccan couscous with vegetables useful. Let us know how you did!
Moroccan Mint Tea usually precedes or follow the meal in Moroccan household. Find out more about it here.