Couscous, cous cous or couscous (of suksu among the Berbers and كسكسي / Kuskusī, among the Arabs ) is a dish of North African cuisine. He is of humidified and grated into beads meal of wheat ( semolina ), barley or millet ( سميذ / samid /, fine flour ) were prepared. Couscous is not cooked for cooking, but steamed over boiling water or a food you're cooking.
Couscous is the main ingredient of many dishes or side dish with various vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, pumpkins, zucchini, cabbage, or chickpeas, and in many cases, the meat such as poultry, beef or lamb, or fish. Typical spices for dishes with couscous are Ras el Hanout, Harissa, and the sharpness, which is served also for individual seasoning. Cold couscous is served as a salad with seafood or used in the preparation of tabbouleh. It is also suitable for the production of desserts, for example, with milk, raisins or almonds. The couscous similar in appearance, taste and application is the native to the Middle Eastern cuisine bulgur. However, unlike Couscous Bulgur does not consist of semolina, but from wheat groats.
In parts of Europe, especially in France, couscous is also spread by immigrants today. One can find couscous in many supermarkets in western countries. In Israel couscous was by Jewish immigrants from Arab countries since 1948 a part of the national cuisine - also because couscous suitable as an inexpensive substitute for rice Persian Jews who were able to maintain their traditional rice-based cuisine. In Sicily, especially in the west to the city of Trapani, located couscous has been able to hold in the Middle Ages as a traditional dish since the Arab rule and is even today still offered in almost every restaurant.
To prepare couscous the traditional way is the first meal, possibly with the addition of a little flour, spread and sprinkled with salt water which form so that it is not too wet, drop large clumps. Then the clumps between your palms are easily crushed and thereby shaped roughly millimeter-sized beads. Too small to be repeated sifted, re-wetted and rubbed until the meal is consumed. In the meantime, dry semolina is added, if the grains from sticking together. Finally, the couscous is dried in the sun and then extended period of time can be stored. Partial couscous with orange pumpkins - as in Tunisia - or with saffron yellow - as in Algeria - colored. Today, couscous is produced industrially in large part, mostly as pre-cooked and re- dried instant product that must swell only in hot water. In North Africa, however, it is still often made by the housewives themselves.
The preparation is traditionally done in a Couscousière. In the pot the vegetables and other ingredients are cooked in the top of the previously moistened couscous is cooked through the rising steam, the soft and grainy remains in this way, without sticking, as it would happen in a preparation in the water. During steaming and swelling it is repeatedly made and broken by the fire, then put on again and blended the end with a little olive oil or butter. The Couscousière can be replaced through a sieve or similar and a matching pot. Traditionally, couscous is served on a large plate in the middle gives you the meat and vegetable mixture, and the family gathers for dinner to this dish.