Couscous: A Blank Canvas with Endless Possibilities

Couscous is one of the most widely known Moroccan dishes. Usually served on Fridays in Morocco, Couscous originated with the Berbers, natives of North Africa. The pasta is also a celebratory dish eaten at weddings as well as at the end of festivals or holidays such as Ramadan. The dish was actually the national dish in Spain for a period, but after the Arabs were driven out it became illegal to eat couscous by decree of the inquisition. 

As mentioned above the rolled semolina cereal is actually a pasta, and is very often served with a traditional stew of seven vegetables. However, there many ways to prepare couscous - even as dessert with cinnamon, sugar, and almonds alongside a frosty glass of milk. We have gathered several recipes of these various preparations and invite you to try them at home:

Photo: Christopher Hirsheimer via Saveur

Photo: Christopher Hirsheimer via Saveur

Couscous with Seven Vegetables

The traditional preparation is very popular and for good reason. The delicious stew provides a hardy meal and warms the soul. This is definitely Moroccan comfort food.

Couscous with Lamb

Similar to the seven vegetables preparation, this recipe presents a warm stew of vegetables on a bed of couscous, but adds slow roasted lamb shank to add an element of meaty goodness.

Mediterranean Fish & Couscous

Much of Morocco lies on the coasts of both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, so fish plays an important role in Moroccans' diets. Try out this delicious recipe and imagine the coastal breeze blowing through your hair as you eat Agadir.

Couscous with Caramelized Onions and Raisins

Carmalized onions and raisins, called Tfaya in Morocco, are a sweet and spicy compliment to couscous. Often served with fried almonds and boiled eggs as a protein, this dish is a delicious addition to any Moroccan meal. Try it with chicken or roasted lamb.

Let us know how your recipes turn out in the comments!