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Moroccan Couscous Recipe

Moroccan Couscous Recipe

Moroccan Couscous Recipe

Couscous is a traditional and very popular dish in Morocco. It is often enjoyed on Fridays, a special day of the week. This recipe is for the classic Moroccan couscous with meat and seven vegetables. It’s a delicious and rich dish that requires some traditional techniques. Here is how to make it:

Ingredients For the Couscous:

  • 1/2 kg of special semolina for couscous
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Sunflower oil

For the Stew

  • 1 kg of meat (you can use lamb or beef)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • A pinch of saffron
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • A small bundle of parsley and cilantro, tied with a thread
  • 2 cups of chickpeas (soaked in water overnight)

For the Vegetables

  • 3 white turnips, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 of a cabbage, preferably with leaves attached to the base
  • 5 large carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 4 pieces of red pumpkin (about the size of your palm), with the peel on
  • 3 zucchinis, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 2 hot peppers


Preparing the Stew

  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot for the stew.
  • Add the meat, salt, black pepper, ginger, diced tomatoes, sliced onions, and the bundle of parsley and cilantro. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat absorbs the spices and the oil.
  • Add the soaked chickpeas and two cups of water. Cover the pot and let it simmer.

Preparing the Couscous:

  • While the stew is cooking, prepare the couscous. Spread the couscous grains in a large, flat container.
  • Gradually add water to the couscous and use your fingers to create waves through the grains. This ensures that water is evenly distributed without clumping. Add a little salt.
  • Allow the couscous to rest for a minute or two, and then place it in the perforated container of your couscous maker. Place it on top of the stew pot without covering it and steam for 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove the couscous container and add approximately one liter of water to the stew.
    Transfer the steamed couscous to the same container and use a ladle or small plates to separate the grains. Add a little more water and vegetable oil. Continue stirring until the water is absorbed and the couscous cools.
  • Place the couscous container back in the stew pot and steam for another 5 minutes. Repeat this process 3-4 times until the couscous grains are fluffy and well-cooked.

Cooking the Vegetables

  • As the meat simmers, check it occasionally. When it’s about 3/4 done, add the turnips and cook for 10-15 minutes.
  • Put carrots and cook for approximately an additional 6 minutes.
  • Add the zucchinis, pumpkin pieces, and cabbage. Add the fastest-cooking vegetables last. Cook until the vegetables are tender. Be mindful not to overcook.

How to Serve Moroccan Couscous

  • In Morocco, couscous is typically served on a large communal platter where diners share the meal.
  • Start by placing the couscous on the platter, creating a hollow in the center.
  • Separate the broth from the meat and vegetables. Drizzle the couscous with some of the broth.
  • Arrange the meat in the center hollow and place the vegetables around it, creating an attractive presentation.
  • Optionally, add hot peppers for those who enjoy spice, and drizzle more broth over the couscous.
  • Any remaining broth can be served in small bowls alongside the dish for those who want to add more to their couscous.
  • Serve the couscous hot.


  • You can remove the bouquet of parsley and cilantro when serving, depending on your preference.
  • Feel free to adjust the vegetables based on what’s available and your preferences.
    If you don’t have a couscous pot, you can adapt a regular pot with an aluminum pasta strainer and a lid.
  • For individual servings, you can put the couscous on one plate and the meat and vegetables on another or serve each diner individually.

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