Couscous

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Tunisian cous cous
Couscous with vegetables and chickpeas
Couscous with fish

Couscous is a kind of food, originally from the Berbers of North Africa. It has two related meanings:

  1. A kind of wheat known in English as durum wheat.
  2. A stew of vegetables and/or meat, together with a plate of couscous wheat.

Couscous is not cooked, but rather steamed over hot water. Couscous is served as a side-dish, or as a main dish. The stew must have plenty of liquid, or else a separate bowl of sauce must be provided. This is because the couscous grain is rather dry, and absorbs plenty of liquid. It is a definite fault to serve a couscous dish with too little liquid.

Spices such as ras el hanout and harissa are used for seasoning. Couscous can also be served cold. In this case, may be the base of a salad, with seafood, or it is used to make taboulé, a kind of Persian salad. Couscous can also be used for sweets, by adding milk, raisins or almonds.

It is the official food of Morocco. The dish is extremely popular in other areas like France, Sicilia and the Middle East.

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