Saturday, September 26, 2015

Tunisian Couscous Recipe

Eid al-Adha, one of the most important Islamic holidays, took place on Thursday (long post about it coming soon!). Eid in Tunisia is pretty different from what I experienced in Oman, but one central theme is food. Yesterday, I was able to help my host mom make couscous and without further adieu, a recipe! 

First, chop together a small onion and scallion and put them in pot with tomato paste, olive oil, harissa (a Tunisian spice paste), some spices to taste (cumin perhaps) and chickpeas. 

Add some hot water!

You'll let it boil for a while, and then add meat if you're choosing to use any. Because it was Eid yesterday, this couscous was very different from any I'd had before, because rather than making it with chicken or meat, we used a Tunisian Eid speciality called 3osben. 3osben is made with the innards of the sheep by creating pouches with parts of the stomach and filling it with spinach and other parts of the innards. I've included a picture of the 3osben and also one of it added to the sauce. 

Next, you'll peel your veggies (usually squash, potato and carrot), chop them to large-ish pieces, and soak them in a bowl of water. 

Next you're going to start with your couscous. Start a sort of double boiler--basically, the couscous is cooked by the steam from the sauce below. 

First, move the couscous to a bowl and add oil and salt. 

Then, add couscous to the second level of the pot and cook uncovered over the sauce. 

 Cook for a while, and then remove the couscous from the steam and add a little water to it in a bowl. Mix thoroughly! Then you'll add your veggies to the sauce mixture and replace the couscous on top of it in the double boiler. After boiling for a while, add a hot pepper if you desire!

You know the sauce is ready when you see oil floating on the top. Then, you'll remove the couscous from the double boiler and, in a large bowl, add some of the tomato mixture (make sure not to get any veggies or meat in this part). 

Display in a nice serving dish, put your meat and veggies on top, and voilà! You've made Tunisian couscous. 

As a side note, my host mom is such a beautiful soul, so here's a selfie we took yesterday while cooking!

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