1/1 Photo of Traditional North African Couscous (The Real Way!)
2 hrs 25 mins
Um Safia's Note:
This is a recipe for a fantastic traditional couscous dish from Algeria which can also be found in Morocco and Tunisia. Please note: the couscous is to be steamed and not soaked...we call this Ta'am bil marga hamra.
My Private Note
Units: US | Metric
- 8 lamb chops or 8 skinless chicken pieces, on bone but skin & fat free if possible
- 1 large onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 medium courgettes (zucchini)
- 2 large potatoes
- 1/4 swede or 1/4 turnip
- 1 parsnip
- 2 -3 stalks celery (or khorchef)
- 1 cup chickpeas, drained
- 2 teaspoons ras el hanout spice mix
- salt & pepper
- 1 pinch dried mint
- 1/2 tablespoon sunflower oil or 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup of tinned plum tomato, liquidised
- 1 1/2 liters water
- 1 large green chili pepper (the Algerian ones) (optional)
- 500 g medium couscous
- 1 tablespoon ghee (smen)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons margarine
- 1 glass water
- olive oil
- 1Finely chop the onion and mince the garlic & place it in a large heavy bottomed pan with the meat or chicken, ras el hanout & a little olive oil. Fry gently to seal the meat/chicken. I use my pressure cooker pr large cast iron casserole for this.
- 2Chop the carrot, parsnip and courgette into 6ths. Cut the potato into 1/4's and roughly chop the swede. Chop khourchef or celery into roughly same size as carrot. (Peel the carrots, potato, parsnip and swede).
- 3Add the vegetables to the meat along with 1L of water and turn up heat so they begin simmering. If using the chilli add it now, along with salt and pepper. If cooking in a regular pan then cook for 40 minutes like this. If using the pressure cooker as I do then 20 minutes will be enough.
- 4Add the tomatoes, chick peas and dried mint and 1/2L more water or enough to create a 'stew' consistency.
- 5Return to heat and cook in pan for further 30 minutes and if using pressure cooker then cook on med to high for a further 25 minutes.
- 6Take a 500g pack of medium couscous and pour into a gas'a if you have one. If not find the biggest bowl you have. Pick out any 'bits' and sprinkle water - about 50mls and a tsp of salt over the couscous and using your hand rub 1/2 tsp of oil through the couscous to stop it sticking. Fill a couscousier or steamer half full with the couscous (as it swells).
- 7When you 1st notice steam coming from the couscous, count 10 minutes. After that remove from the steamer, place in gas'a and use your hands to 'open' the couscous (rub it together between hands to remove clumps). This is very hot and you need to keep wetting you hand with cold water and sprinkling a little on the couscous.
- 8Return to steamer when thoroughly opened. Repeat process of steaming and opening twice more.
- 9Finally remove from steamer and place back in gas'a. Open for final time and rub a tbsp of ghee or smen into the couscous along with 2tsp of butter or margarine. Add salt to taste.
- 10Serve the couscous in the gas'a with sauce on top as traditional style or in tagine etc. Usually we place the meat/chicken in place - 1 for each guest and decorate the couscous with the veg before ladling some of the sauce over the top.
- 11If you used the chilli, put it on a plate and let people help themselves to it!
Browse Our Top Stew Recipes
Nutritional Facts for Traditional North African Couscous (The Real Way!)
Serving Size: 1 (636 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 8
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 710.5
- Calories from Fat 279
- Total Fat 31.0 g
- Saturated Fat 12.9 g
- Cholesterol 74.4 mg
- Sodium 213.1 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 78.5 g
- Dietary Fiber 8.4 g
- Sugars 4.9 g
- Protein 28.2 g
The following items or measurements are not included:
ras el hanout spice mix