Thursday, September 27, 2012

2-way couscous

I must agree that Geneva has given me a lot of freedom in terms of experimenting. Even though I have to struggle a lot to find ingredients the final output is priceless. There are few things which I did not even know existed until I started watching TLC back home, praise the lord......O Mama. If it was not for the set up box connection my culinary skills would have been nothing more than Indian and some indo chinese. I know mama will want to hit him hard when he finds that he has indirectly rooted the love for "experimental" cooking in me.

The first time I heard about couscous was like a year back. All I know was that it is not the spice khus-khus but a staple food, like our lovable 'rice' in the middle east. But then I knew for sure I was not going to look for a pack of couscous with a heavily pregnant belly. So I let it pass. The next time I heard about it was when mama told me about it. Surprised?? even I was but it was a shock for me. The man won't compromise rice for anything in this world but he has had couscous for lunch in Geneva with friends. Then comes the end part of the story he came home and had rice too. Pathetic :(

No, it is not RAVA

Ofcourse I wanted to have couscous for lunch even though he dismissed the whole issue telling it tasted and looked nothing more than Rava (semolina). That's the not the way you talk to someone like me. Hence I punish him once in a while by making couscous for lunch and yes, no rice the whole day.

When I first came here mama promised to take me to the nearby restaurant which is famous for its couscous served every Thursday. But till date we never had a chance of making it there. I really have no tasting done in this area other than my own but I think all them will taste the same. The reason for me to like couscous will be the cooking time. 5 minutes. Yes just 5 minutes, isn't that the most wonderful thing for any working women. You can pull it out in a jiffy and the fluffiness has no substitute I say. But its still durum wheat semolina like mama accuses it to be. Hush hush!!

Fluffy and yummy

Couscous is one of those things you can easily find in any of the supermarkets and I usually buy the precooked one which is perfect for me. I buy the al badia brand just because that was the only option I had the first time when I brought one, not that I am complaining it really works fine. 

The attracting 'ITEM'

The best day to try any thing new will be on the Sundays mainly due to the presence of my very own guinea pig. The additional advantage will be the complete attention the food will get, no mails no replies nothing. After tasting he will give the final verdict which is the usual (nothing can taste like rice blah blah) but who cares. As long as he looks good with no side effects the food passes the test.

It was a non-vegetarian affair for the first time, I had to lure him into tasting it right? It was a wonderful set up, Moroccan style chicken kebabs with vegetables on skewers with couscous salad (enriched with cilantro, parsley and spring onions). I even cooked some potatoes, mashed with some salt and paprika. He loved the chicken of-course and the couscous was also well received which means he ate the whole thing. How can he not eat potatoes? I loved the combination. The chicken was hot and spicy, couscous was subtle and bland and the potatoes were actually not of any need. LOL

Agreed, not a good picture :(

Today after a long time I cooked couscous mainly because I was done having rice continually for 3 big days. I had no chicken in stock so it was going to be vegetarian. Since its a weekday mama won't mind he has to run back to his love - "the LAPTOP". The quicker the better.

I must say I was really proud of the smell the kuruma made, yes I made a simple vegetable kuruma to go with the couscous and believe me it was awesome. The kuruma was enriched with carrots, beans, soya chunks, cauliflower and the humble potato. It is quiet a sensation back home, I love my mother's version in making kuruma. We will eat like 10 puris with this fresh coconut gravy. Since she was talking to me on skype I asked her for the recipe and she was more than happy to tell me two of her versions.  


The kuruma came out real good and I loved the smell, not like mom's though but still somewhat closer. I served the couscous with some parsley and paprika. I loved the combination they worked well for me even though I had doubts about the coconut and mama HAD to tell 'super nice' after some insisting. Finally he did not forget to say he still thought it was rava upma. 

Maybe I should make rava upma in the night to show him the difference in taste, feel and texture. And keep cooking couscous until he agrees it is not rava upma . what say? EVIL GRIN :)

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