Moroccan Couscous

Couscous dish is one of my favorite traditional foods we serve it in many ways, for example, Berkoukes or with vegetables.

Coking time: 1h – Total Time: 1h 10 min – Number of persons: 4


  • 2.2 lb. dry couscous (not instant; I prefer medium caliber)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 6 cups water, divided
  • 2 to 3 tsp salt (added after 1st steaming)
  • 2 tbsp soft butter (added after final steaming)

Now it’s time to make your couscous :

  • Set up an area to work with the couscous. In Morocco, we use a gsaa (very wide, shallow serving and mixing dish), but another very large wide vessel or bowl can work. Have oil, water, salt, and butter out and ready. Lightly oil the steamer basket of a couscoussier.

First Steaming of the Couscous :

  1. Drizzle 1/4 cup of oil over the couscous. Toss and roll the couscous around between your hands for a minute to distribute the oil evenly and break up any balls or clumps. Add 1 cup of water and work it into the couscous in the same way–tossing and rubbing the couscous until all is well blended and there are no clumps. 
  2. Transfer the couscous to a lightly oiled steamer basket, taking care not to compress the grains in the process. Place the basket on the couscoussier and steam for 15 to 20 minutes, timing from when the steam first appears over the couscous.

Second Steaming of the Couscous :

  1. Turn the couscous back into your gsaa or bowl. Allow it to cool briefly, then work in 1 cup of water, using the same tossing and turning as you did before. (You may need to use a wooden spoon if the couscous is too hot, but move to use your hands when it has cooled enough.)
  2. Add the salt in the same manner, then add in another 1 cup of water. Toss and roll and rub the couscous with your hands for a good minute or two, again making sure there are no balls. Transfer the couscous back to the steamer basket, again taking care not to compress or pack the grains.Steam for 15 to 20 minutes, timing from when you first see steam emerge from the couscous.

Third and Final Steaming of the Couscous

  1. Turn the steamed couscous out into your gssaa or bowl. work  2  to 3 cups of water into the couscous in the same manner as before–tossing and turning and rubbing the grains between your hands and making sure there are no clumps. Use only as much water as needed to make the couscous al dente.
  2. Taste the couscous for salt and add a little more if desired. Transfer half of the couscous to the steamer basket, again being careful not to pack the grains. 
  3. Place the couscous basket back on the pot and cook until steam begins to emerge from the couscous. Gently add the remaining couscous to the basket and continue cooking. Once you see steam rise from the couscous, allow it to steam for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Serving the Couscous :

  1. Turn the couscous out into your bowl and work in the butter. Add the smen (if using) to the broth in the pot and swirl to incorporate.
  2. Work about 1 cup of broth into the couscous, tossing as you did before. Arrange the couscous into a large, shallow mound in your gsaa or on a deep serving platter.

Now your delicious dish is ready you can serve it with Amlou or Vegetables.

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