Prepare traditional Moroccan couscous as a side dish on its own or to make the Brown-Butter Couscous, Couscous with Meyer Lemon and Parsley, or Couscous with Prunes and Toasted Almonds recipes from "Mourad: New Moroccan," by Mourad Lahlou.



Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups chicken stock, olive oil, saffron, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring to dissolve salt. Remove from heat and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to infuse saffron flavor.

  • Fill the bottom of a couscoussier half-full with water. Add carrots, onions, celery, and parsley; bring to a simmer.

  • Place the couscous in a very large glass bowl; pour the infused stock over couscous, straining to remove saffron, if desired. Let couscous absorb the liquid, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

  • Scoop up some of the couscous and rub it with your fingers to separate any lumps, letting it fall back into the bowl. Repeat process until no lumps remain.

  • Meanwhile, increase heat under couscoussier to bring water to a gentle boil; add more water if needed to maintain level.

  • Transfer couscous to a steamer basket set over a plate to catch any grains (returning them to the basket if they do). Run fingers lightly over top to make sure couscous is evenly distributed; set steamer basket over gently boiling water in couscoussier. If necessary, carefully wrap a large piece of plastic wrap around the rim of bottom pot to keep steam from escaping. Once couscous begins to steam, steam for 30 minutes.

  • Carefully remove plastic wrap, if using, and then steamer basket, pulling toward you so you do not get burned by escaping steam. Spread couscous on a terra-cotta tray or in a bowl and let stand until cool enough to handle.

  • Meanwhile, add enough water to bottom of the couscoussier to bring its level back to the halfway point. Return to a boil. Clean and dry the steamer basket, discarding any couscous that stuck to it.

  • Repeat process in step 4 to separate couscous. When couscous returns to room temperature, transfer couscous to cleaned steamer basket; add plastic wrap, if needed, and steam until tender and appears sweaty, 15 to 30 minutes. Spread couscous out on tray or in bowl and let cool.

  • Place remaining 1/2 cup chicken stock in a clean spray bottle or small bowl. Return couscous to steamer basket; set over couscoussier; bring to a gentle boil. Immediately begin to add remaining stock, spraying couscous 15 to 20 times or drizzling with about 2 tablespoons over grains. Continue adding stock and stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes. Transfer couscous to tray or bowl. It should have doubled in size to about 6 cups.

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On the show, step one was different--he poured the mixture on the couscous (off the heat) and let it sit for 30 minutes.