How To Make Couscous

fluffy couscous 2.jpg

Couscous is a granular pasta usually made of semolina.  I have never steamed couscous which is the traditional method of making it.  I first learned to cook it from Deborah Madison’s book “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone” (which I highly recommend every cook have a copy of) but in rereading her instructions today I see I’ve gone completely off-book over the years with my own preparation.  My way works very well for me so I’m going to share it with you.

How To Make Couscous


1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup couscous
2 cups water or broth


Pour the olive oil into a large saute pan and put the stove on high.  Add the couscous and stir to coat with the oil.  Stir the couscous for 1 to 2 minutes until it slightly colors. 

Add the water or broth and shake the pan gently to evenly distribute it.  Keep the burner on high until the water starts to bubble.  Turn the burner off and put a lid on the pan.

Let it sit for 7 minutes.

Remove the lid and fluff the couscous with a fork.

Recipe Notes:  Sometimes it clumps a little and if it does you just have to use the fork to break them up.  I don’t mind some clumps because they are never gummy or sticky for me.  I never eat couscous plain so by the time I mix vegetables into it the clumps usually break up completely anyway.  I don’t salt my couscous.  If I’m going to use salt I add it at the same time that I add other things to it. 

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4 thoughts on “How To Make Couscous

  1. simply.belinda

    I’ll have to give your way a go next time. Since I generally only use couscous in the height of summer when kitchen heat is a real consideration I generally just go with the “add oil, dump boiling water over it and cover” method.
    Kind Regards

  2. simply.belinda

    close but not exactly.. I don’t colour the grain first. I just add oil to the cold grain then boil, dump and cover. I will be interested to see what difference frying the grain first makes.
    Kind Regards

  3. Angelina

    When you try it this way, if you do, let me know if it makes any difference at all. Sometimes the little details can make a difference and sometimes they really don’t, always interesting to test such things out!

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