Bahia’s mum’s couscous recipe

  • First of all, I completely submerge the couscous in water to rinse it.
  • Then I drain it in the top part of the couscoussiere (the kiskis).
  • Next I spread it on a large platter to dry for about ten to 15 minutes.
  • Then it is steamed over a medium heat for about half an hour – but not too long or the couscous can become sticky and form a pasty dough. The grains should be separate and taste moist, not wet and not dry!
  • When that’s done, I sprinkle the couscous with a generous amount of salt and spray water and leave it for a few minutes.
  • Then I spread the couscous thinly on a large platter and leave it to cool for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • The couscous goes back into the couscousière for about another half hour’s steaming. This second steaming continues until the couscous is fully cooked.
  • Then I put it into a large bowl and gently stir in olive oil. You can see the couscous at this stage breaking gently apart and becoming fluffy.
  • Couscous is best enjoyed hot, but can be equally good if left covered for less than 30 minutes in a warm place before serving.
  • Some Algerian folk steam the couscous a third time but in my view this isn’t necessary and there is no difference in texture or taste. Besides – it’s not what my mum does!