• Couscous is one of the easiest, quickest and most versatile sides to prepare and it works wonderfully served with stews and tagines. Although couscous may look like a grain, it is actually a form of semolina pasta with roots in Northern Africa. 

    5 tips to prepare couscous

    1. Use a 1:1 couscous to liquid ratio: This is the perfect ratio for cooking couscous that isn’t too soggy or too dry.
    2. Use stock instead of water: Although water is often used to cook couscous, using broth or stock adds more flavour to your couscous from the beginning so you don’t have to do much work at the end.
    3. Don’t disturb your couscous: Once you’ve added your hot liquid, leave the couscous covered and undisturbed for about 10 minutes to give it time to absorb all the hot liquid.
    4. Fluff with a fork: To get beautifully fluffy couscous, gently loosen up the grains with a fork.
    5. Jazz up the flavour:  At this point, you can take your couscous up a flavour notch by adding in a knob of butter, finely chopped fresh herbs, ground spices, toasted nuts, dried cranberries – anything! We’ve shared a few ideas below.


    How to prepare couscous

    YIELD 2-2 1/2 cups cooked couscous | SERVES 4-6


    • 1 cup chicken stock
    • 1 cup couscous


    PLACE chicken stock in a pot with a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. 

    STIR in the couscous. Cover the pot and remove from the heat – allow to sit for about 10 minutes to absorb all the liquid.  

    UNCOVER and fluff couscous with a fork to loosen the grains.


    Flavour ideas:

    • Buttered couscous: Add in 1 tbsp melted butter and 1 finely chopped sauteed garlic clove
    • Nuts & spice couscous: Add in a knob of butter, 1 tsp ground cumin and a handful of roughly chopped roasted almonds; mix until butter has completely melted.
    • Herbed couscous: Add a splash of olive oil and a handful each finely chopped coriander and flat-leaf parsley
    • Meditterranean couscous: Add a handful of pitted and roughly chopped black olives, sundried tomatoes, shelled pistachios and a glug of olive oil.


    Now try these couscous recipes:

    Crumbed lamb cutlets with orange couscous salad

    Crumbed lamb cutlets with orange and couscous salad

    Peppers stuffed with pistachio-harissa hummus

    Peppers stuffed with pistachio-harissa couscous

    Chargrilled vegetable couscous

    Char-grilled vegetable couscous

    Easy green couscous salad


    Made any of these recipes? Tag us @foodandhomesa #cookingwithFH on Instagram


    Kirsty is the food assistant on the Food&Home team. Usually baking up a storm, snapping pics on her camera or buried in her beloved recipe books, she also spends her time tinkering on the piano, doing contemporary dancing and enjoying the beautiful outdoors.