Quite a few people were astounded when I told them about how couscous is made in Morocco. It’s no five-minute affair involving a kettle of boiled water! It’s much more time consuming, but also that much better.

In Europe, couscous is a fast food, but in Morocco it takes time. Women in Morocco must have asbestos hands, since they manage to stir the couscous with their fingers even when it’s hot. But don’t worry, you won’t need fire-proof gloves to do this. Thanks to steam-cooking and rubbing clumps of couscous between your hands, you’ll acquire a texture where no two grains will be stuck together. Just think about what your couscous looks like five minutes in. Full of clumps!

There are one thousand and one ways of seasoning couscous. I like these flavours, but you can also add tomatoes, mint, or different spices.

Steamed Couscous with Olives and Pickled Lemon


Serves 2
Preparation 45 min.

150g couscous
100g zucchini
100g carrots
25g blond raisins
½ pickeled lemon in salt
40g olives
1 tsp cumin
virgin olive oil


Mix couscous with 50ml water and rub in your fingers so the couscous is wet everywhere the same. Put the couscous in fine strainer over pot with water, cover it and steam for 15 minutes.

Shell out the couscous from the strainer to a bowl, pour another 75ml water and 2tbsp olive oil. Carefully (because it’s hot) rub the couscous between your palms. Put it back to the strainer over a boiling pot, cover and steam it for another 15 minutes.

Repeat the procedure for the last time and pour 50ml of water. For the last 5 minutes add zucchini and carrots cut in small pieces with raisins.

Cut the pickled lemon with cilantro fine. Crush cumin in mortar.

When the couscous is finished put it to a serving bowl, add pickeled lemon with cilantro and cumin. Loosen it with fork and season with salt and add olives.