Small particules of wheat semolina that are used in north Africa to make a stew of the same name.

Couscous [the grain] is available in supermarkets [instructions for cooking are on the packaging].

The semolina should be rubbed with a mixture of butter and olive oil to allow the grains to separate on steaming. However, it can also be cooked in a saute pan, in which case it will only need a very small amount of liquid to get the texture of wet crumbs. Cooked by this method, the couscous can be ready in 10 minutes without lumps, as is likely to happen if the grains are steamed.

Couscous can be served with stews of fish, meat or poultry, but most usually mutton or lamb, plus vegetables and spices.

Replace rice, potatoes or pasta with couscous; couscous is free of fat, but contains lots of carbohydrates which is why, mixed with meat and vegetables, it is part of a very nutritious dish.

In order not to get a sticky couscous, simply mix in, with your hands, a little vegetable oil [1/2 teaspoon / 2.5 mL] oil per 1 cup / 250 ml dry couscous], just before adding the couscous to the boiling liquid.

Couscous can either be boiled in water or in meat or vegetable broth [any remaining broth can be reserved and used to either boil couscous or rice].

For a more tasteful couscous, add a little herb or spice that will accompany well the main dish, to the cooking liquid [Ex: curry powder with lamb, basil with chicken].

Salad: add pieces of vegetables and salad dressing to already cooked couscous.

Stuffing: add already cooked ground meat and vegetables to cooked couscous; stuff sweet peppers, tomatoes or zucchini.

As a main course: serve couscous with meat and/or vegetables, all boiled together in a seasoned broth.

As a dessert or at breakfast: flavor cooked couscous with orange flavoring, vanilla or cinnamon; serve with fresh or dried fruits.