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How can I make couscous exciting(ish)

(27 Posts)
alicethecactus Wed 06-Nov-13 10:29:17

I've started making couscous to take to work for lunch with other salad-y bits. Trouble is it taste dead boring. What can I do to it to make it taste less like bland grains of nothing? Ideally it'd be something quick I can do the night before. TIA!

MellowYellowWag Wed 06-Nov-13 10:31:15

Mix with chilli oil, add feta or other tasty cheese & chopped peppers/cucumber/tomatoes/spring onion etc. yum!

Iheartcrunchiebars Wed 06-Nov-13 10:31:23

Nigel slaters baked chicken with spices is amazing! Otherwise loads of herbs.

duckyfuzz Wed 06-Nov-13 10:36:11

make it with veg stock instead of plain water
add roasted veg

popsnsqeeze Wed 06-Nov-13 10:36:58

I'm on my phone so I can't search for the exact link. There is a delicious recipe on which is a couscous salad with feta, parsley, spring onions and cucumbers. It's so so good! I'll try and hunt it down and post a link

Fillybuster Wed 06-Nov-13 10:38:14

Add some (or all) of the following before you add the hot water to the couscous: dried mint, cumin, ground coriander, pinch chili flakes, dash of cinammon, teaspoon of stock powder, chopped dried apricots, raisins.

Some (or all) of the following after you've cooked the couscous: toasted pine nuts, feta cheese, finely chopped tomatoes/peppers/cucumbers, couple tablespoons fresh mint/coriander/parsley, fresh lemon juice, drop of basil or chili oil.


blue2 Wed 06-Nov-13 10:38:29

I saw Jamie O on telly the other night doing couscous. He blitzed spring onion, mint and spinach in the magimix, then tipped in a cup of couscous, followed by 2 cups of boiling water. The he just put the lid back on the processor and let it sit for 10 mins - then he just served it.

It looked a beautiful colour!

popsnsqeeze Wed 06-Nov-13 10:39:40

It's this I think. The recipe that I used didn't have pine nuts though

alicethecactus Wed 06-Nov-13 13:09:32

Ah brill, thanks so much guys! Making it with veg stock sounds like a v good tip - I'm currently just making it with plain cold water, is it better with boiling water?

man I make boring threads

Eve Wed 06-Nov-13 13:15:20

cold water? does it absorb cold water?

Hawkmoth Wed 06-Nov-13 13:20:17

I always use "roasted" peppers. This is where you burn them on the grill until they are black then put them in a plastic bag in the fridge until cool, peel off the skin and chop.

ginmakesitallok Wed 06-Nov-13 13:21:59

How on earth do you make it with cold water?? How does it cook?

wishingforwillpower Wed 06-Nov-13 14:42:39

Once cooked stir through a teaspoon of Harissa paste (Moroccan spicy paste, really tasty, get it in most supermarkets) and a squeeze of lemon. Easy! I would then add roasted veg/feta/falafel/artichoke/spring onion or whatever you fancy. And yes make it with hot stock not cold water!

stickysausages Wed 06-Nov-13 14:47:38

Chicken stock is also tasty smile

barleysugar Wed 06-Nov-13 14:48:00

I finely zest a lemon, and shake on some frozen coriander, add a knob of butter, boiling water then let it sit. Yum.

CinnabarRed Wed 06-Nov-13 14:51:02

You can't.

Blatherskite Wed 06-Nov-13 14:53:39

It definitely needs to be made with hot stock and not cold water!! I didn't even know you could make it with cold water. I always do ours in veg or chicken stock.

I know it's not necessarily cous cous but this recipe for bulghar wheat pilaf is close or could be adapted. I always make extra as it is really, really tasty and DH often takes the leftovers for his lunch the next day as it is just as good cold.

MyNameIsInigoMontoya Wed 06-Nov-13 14:59:17

I mix it with finely chopped raisins and dried apricot, maybe some chopped fresh mint leaves if I have any (got some in the garden), and perhaps some cinnamon or lemon juice. But I would still only have that as an accompaniment, with some spiced meat or a salad with interesting stuff in, not just on its own.

Or Tescos do a v. nice Moroccan chicken salad with couscous with a spiced dressing, if you had a look at the ingredients maybe you could make your own version?

Pantah630 Wed 06-Nov-13 15:39:20

Yes you can....I watched NZ chef Peter Gordon make couscous at the food festival here last year. He said the couscous we buy here is already properly cooked beforehand and cold water is what he uses. I've tried both and it tastes the same when cold but I prefer warm couscous with my dinner so use boiling water/stock for preference.

In Morrocco couscous made properly takes hours and many changes of water I think I read somewhere.

Pantah630 Wed 06-Nov-13 15:43:38

This is what he made and the recipe, using tepid rather than freezing cold water

Mumraathenoisylion Wed 06-Nov-13 15:46:27

I like it with cherry tomatoes, coriander and chopped up red chillies.

Me2Me2 Wed 06-Nov-13 15:46:34

Jamie O has a decent spicy couscous recipe that you can make in bulk and then add different things to each day

ElizabethBathory Wed 06-Nov-13 15:57:24

feta or goats cheese, and a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Also, fiery chicken cous cous: chicken, cherry toms, sweet potatoes, rosemary, chicken stock, cayenne pepper and cous cous. Amazing hot or cold. I tend to make lots for dinner then take leftovers for work the next day.

JamNan Thu 07-Nov-13 13:09:35

Nice with pomegranate seeds, feta and walnuts.
Mint, tomatoes and sunflower seeds.
Feta olives and coriander leaves

sharond101 Thu 07-Nov-13 21:45:51

I roast my veg then cook cous cous in chicken stock and add veg to it. I make a tomato sauce with tinned tomatoes, worcester sacue, brown sugar and dash of balsamic. Add 1/2 - 1tbsp red pesto per person and stir it all together.

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