Couscous is a staple food in North African cuisine with a nutty, sweet flavor. It is traditionally served with a stew or sauce from vegetables, meat, or fish. Couscous is a healthy food that is high in carbohydrates and protein and low in fat. So, it is an excellent option for diet-conscious people.
A rice cooker is not only for making rice but for other dishes as well. It can also cook couscous, pasta, lentils, pizza, etc. Do you know how to make lentils in a rice cooker? The process is quick, and they came out well.
In this blog post, I will share my tried recipe of couscous in a rice cooker, its nutritional value, and other alternatives to cooking couscous.
Table of Contents
The word couscous is from Arabic, but this is a staple food in North Africa, including Libya, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. It is a component of Middle Eastern cuisine. The question that confuses many people is this a pasta or grain. The simple answer is that it is pasta made from semolina balls.
Common Types of Couscous
Couscous comes in different sizes depending on its origin and can range from tiny granules resembling poppy seeds to larger ones the size of garbanzo beans.
Here are three main types of couscous. Let’s go through them:
1. Moroccan Couscous
Moroccan couscous is often known as a national dish in Morocco and serves during special occasions and festive gatherings. It is a minor type of couscous and cooks in significantly less time.
2. Israeli Couscous
Israeli couscous, also known as pearl couscous because of its spherical shape, resembles tiny pearls. People often use it as a base for salads or a side dish. It takes about 10 Minutes to cook.
3. Lebanese Couscous
Lebanese couscous is a staple food in Lebanese cuisine. It has a slightly chewy texture and a nutty flavor. Due to its larger size, this couscous is more significant than Israeli and takes longer to cook than the other two types.
Rice cookers are made to cook grains like rice, quinoa, and couscous evenly and consistently. They often come with pre-programmed settings for different types of grains. So, it is more convenient to cook couscous in a rice cooker.
How to Cook Couscous in a Rice Cooker: Quick & Easy Recipe
When you read the instructions on the packet for cooking couscous, it may look straightforward. Still, it’s more complex than you think.
Here we are to teach you an easy recipe to cook couscous. Using a Rice cooker to prepare couscous is simple if you follow the instructions.
What You’ll Need
- 1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable broth. If not available, you can use water instead.
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of couscous
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5-Cup Rice cooker
Step By Step Instructions For Cooking couscous In A Rice Cooker
Step 1 – Add the couscous & Water to the rice cooker
In the first step, add 1 cup of dry couscous and 1 ½ cups of water or broth and salt into the rice cooker’s inner pot.
Step 2 – Mix well
Stir the couscous and water/broth mixture together until combined.
Step 3 – Turn on the rice cooker
Cover the rice cooker with its lid and set it to “white rice.” Hold on for 10 minutes until the cooker reaches its “warm setting.”
Step 4 – Serve & Enjoy
Now open the lid, stir the couscous with the help of a fork, and dish it out.
How Long can you keep Leftover Couscous?
When it comes to keeping and using leftover food, people become conscious of what if it becomes unhealthy. The same goes for couscous; people ask for long as they can keep it. The answer is simple: once cooked, you can keep it for 2 to 3 hours at average room temperature.
In the fridge, you can keep it for 3 days. Cool down to room temperature if you’re storing couscous before transferring it to an airtight container and refrigerating it. If you have added other ingredients like vegetables, it may shorten its shelf life. You can reheat cooked couscous in the microwave, or you can also eat it cold.
Tips for Cooking a Perfect Couscous Meal
- Correctly measure the ingredients: It is essential to measure the ingredients correctly. Most importantly, couscous to water ratio, generally, one cup of couscous requires 1 ½ cups of water or broth.
- Use flavored liquids: You can use vegetable broth instead of using plain water to add more flavor.
- Add seasonings: You can add herbs or aromatics before adding water or broth into the couscous to enhance the flavor.
- Fluff it with a fork: To prevent the couscous from sticking together, try to fluff/mix it immediately after the timer of the rice cooker goes off. If you do not do this, your couscous will achieve the shape of the pot in which you cooked the couscous.
- Serve it hot: It is best to serve it hot.
What is the Nutritional Value of Couscous?
Couscous is a good source of essential nutrients. Let’s find out how it could enrich your body if you consume them.
- Rich in selenium
Only one cup(157g) of couscous contains 60% of the recommended intake of selenium nutrients. Selenium repairs damaged body cells and are a powerful antioxidant that reduces inflammation.
- Immune system Booster
Selenium content in couscous contributes to the renewal of the vitamins C and E, which improve immune system performance.
- A source of plant-based proteins
Per cup of couscous contains 6% plant-based proteins. Hence it is a good source of plant-based proteins.
- An alternative to white rice
Let’s compare couscous to the same serving of white rice. Couscous offers more protein and a higher contribution of vitamins and minerals.
Some other Alternatives to making Couscous
If you don’t have a rice cooker or want to explore different ways to cook couscous, here are they:
1. Cook Couscous on the Stovetop
You can cook couscous on the stove by simply following these steps.
- Take a small pot and boil the water over high heat.
- Add salt and olive oil.
- Add the couscous and then cover the pot.
- Wait until all the liquid is absorbed, turn the heat off, and wait for 10 minutes until it sits down.
2. Cook Couscous In the Microwave
You can boil the broth in the microwave instead of cooking it in a saucepan, then add the couscous to it, and here you go.
- In a microwave, you must use a non-metallic utensil and pour one cup of broth into a microwave-friendly dish.
- Heat the water or broth for four minutes, stirring between one-minute intervals, until it steams.
- Pour the couscous into boiling water.
- Give the couscous a quick stir to moisten, then cover it for 10 minutes with a plate or plastic wrap. Serve after fluffing.
- Do the last two steps outside the microwave.
Delicious Food you can Serve with Couscous
There are many side dishes that you can serve with couscous, such as
Pearl couscous is a delicious ingredient you can quickly cook using a rice cooker. It is a versatile option used as a side dish or the main course. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced cook, pearl couscous is an excellent choice that is sure to impress.
So why not try this recipe and experience the ease and convenience of cooking perfectly fluffy couscous every time?
Related Read: Can You Cook Pasta in a Rice Cooker?
Related Read: how to Cook Wild Rice in an Aroma Rice Cooker?
How much water do I need to cook couscous in a rice cooker?
To prevent the couscous from drying out in the rice cooker, use 1 ½ cups of liquid for every cup.
Do you rinse couscous before cooking?
No. In the same way, pasta doesn’t require rinsing before cooking, and neither does couscous. Because couscous is not a grain, cooking does not require rinsing to remove any remaining starch, as it would with rice.
Does couscous cook similarly to rice?
You can substitute rice and couscous because of their similarity in preparation and use. They also pick up on the flavors of the sauces and seasonings you use. You may purchase whole-grain varieties of couscous and rice even though they are both types of grains.
How to Cook Couscous in a Rice Cooker
- Rice Cooker
- 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth. If not available,you can use water instead.
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- 1 cup of couscous
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- In the first step, add 1 cup ofdry couscous and 1 ½ cups of water or broth and salt into the rice cooker'sinner pot.
- Stir the couscous and water/broth mixture together untilcombined.
- Coverthe rice cooker with its lid and set it to "white rice." Hold on for10 minutes until the cooker reaches its "warm setting."
- Now open the lid, stir the couscous with the help of a fork,and dish it out.