Thursday, March 3, 2011

Trip to Algeria, couscous recipe.

There have been numerous culinary influences in Algeria: native Berbers, Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Spanish Moors, Turks and finally French. Berbers lived on grains, dried fruit and lamb. From Andalusia came stews or tagines and the use of fruit and nuts in cooking.
The French had a very big influence on Algerian cuisine and this is most obvious in the use of tomato puree and sweets and starters that have a touch of Metropolitan France. Algerians use little spice and the cooking is simpler and milder than that of neighboring Morocco. Cumin, coriander, caraway, fennel, saffron and marjoram are used in abundance and so are tomatoes, peppers and garlic. Lamb and chicken are the most used meats and Mediterranean fish makes up the remainder of this rich and varied cuisine.

Today I made a couscous, one of the most known dishes in North Africa. Every regions in North Africa has its own couscous recipes, it can be made with meat (lamb, beef, chicken...) fish or with just vegetables. I usually make mine with beef, and 1 or 2 pieces of lamb. Never tried it with fish, although I doubt I like it...

To start cut you meat in equal size, you can cut it either in small or bigger pieces

Heat up some olive oil and brown beef on all sides

While the meat browns, dice 2 onions, and 3 carrots in big chunks

Add them in with the meat and a big pinch of salt and pepper (Gosh I really need a manicure!!)

Blanche 1lbs of green beans for a few minutes

Drain and let them meet the onions and the carrots, with a heaping tbsp of paprika,

half a tbsp of raz-el-hanout, now don't panic if you can not find the spice, I myself had it send by my mom!!! you can also make your own  or buy it online, but for the longest time I made my couscous without it, and somehow it was just as good.
and 1/2 tbsp of tomato paste

Stir everything togheter and let the spices meat and veggies mingle and know each other.

Rince a can of chick peas to remove all the gritty yucky stuff

and throw them in the pot

Cover with water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer until the meat is tender, or...

If you have a pressure cooker 20 minutes and it's done, I love my pressure cooker

After 20 minutes, or when the meat is cooked add 2 zucchinis cut in big pieces

and let them cook for 10 minutes, taste the sauce for seasoning and voila your done with the sauce.

Prepare you couscous according to the package's instructions. Lucky me I have my mom who makes my couscous from scratch with fine coarse semolima, and have it send or if I visit bring back a big 10lbs back in my suitcase.

To serve the couscous, put the couscous in a plate pour over a few laddles of sauce and a drizzle of olive oil.

Bon Appetit.


Anne_Chicago said...

une facon differente et sympatique de faire le couscous! super merci! j essaierai a l occasion. cela semble plus facile que le couscous en couscoussier et plus adapte de fait a la cuisine de tous les jours!

Anne_Chicago said...

ooh et puis ta semoule a l air fabuleuse! fine!

Emmy said...


Anonymous said...

c'est la semoule de ça maman, c'est ça son secret hi! hi! hi!

Anonymous said...

c'est ta soeur chérie qui t'as vendu....c'est moi " l'anonymous"!!!

FatihaUSA said...

Anne oui la sauce est facile a faire pour le couscous je n'utilise jamais celui en boite!!! si je tombe en rade de celui de ma maman je vais dnas un magaz pakistanais ou il vende du couscous importer du Maroc est il est super bon aussi.

Eh anonymous t'attends quoi pour te rajouter "legalement" a la liste!!!

Karine said...

Cool, je n'avais jamais vu avec des haricots verts. J'adore la semoule, miam! :) C'est marrant, j'avais prevu d'en faire un ce week-end.

Cecile said...

Merci d'avoir partagé ta recette, je crois que je vais me lancer :-)

Anonymous said...

J'avais trouve du ras el hanout dans un world market, au TX...

HouariB said...

Le couscous c'est la pizza d'afrique du nord. On mets les legumes que l'on a à disposition.
J'abonde sur le fait qu'il y a autant de maniere de faire le couscous que de région (ce qu'on y mets plutôt que la procédure). Les noms change aussi. Ainsi couscous est un des noms utilisé. Ainsi à l'est de l'Algerie ce plat est appelé berboucha :)
Une question de quelle région est votre couscous (et vous même). En effet les haricots ce n'est pas courant :)
Et bonne apétit

Mahmudul Hasan said...

I can't wait without having its taste.such a delicious recipe.great share.
Couscous recipes

Himu Hasan said...

I just finished the blog. Its really a very helpful recipe for making my family happy. Thanks for sharing such an great recipe.
Couscous recipes