Saturday, October 31, 2009

An Israeli CousCous Salad!

israel_flag The Land of Israel, known in Hebrew as Eretz Yisrael, has been sacred to the Jewish people since Biblical time. Jews are renowned for their entrepreneurship and intelligence.

The city of Jerusalem is of special importance to Jews, Muslims and Christians as it is the home of sites that are pivotal to their religious beliefs, such as the Israeli-controlled Old City that incorporates the Western Wall and the Temple Mount, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Other landmarks of religious importance are located in the West Bank, among them Joseph's tomb in Shechem, the birthplace of Jesus and Rachel's Tom in Bethlehe, and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

alumni-travel-israel-01 Israel's diverse culture stems from the diversity of the population: Jews from around the world have brought their cultural and religious traditions with them, creating a melting pot of Jewish customs and beliefs. Israel is the only country in the world where life revolves around the Hebrew calendar.

More About Couscous..

Couscous or kuskus is a dish consisting of spherical granules made by rolling and shaping moistened semolina wheat and then coating them with finely ground wheat flour. The finished granules are about one millimeter in diameter before cooking. The Levantine variant, popular also in Israel, is about twice the diameter and made of hard wheat instead of semolina.


Couscous from semolina (wheat)

The semolina is sprinkled with water and rolled with the hands to form small pellets, sprinkled with dry flour to keep them separate, and then sieved. The pellets which are too small to be finished granules of couscous fall through the sieve to be again sprinkled with dry semolina and rolled into pellets. This process continues until all the semolina has been formed into tiny granules of couscous. Sometimes salt is added to the semolina and water.

This process is very labour-intensive. In the traditional method of preparing couscous, groups of women would come together and make large batches over several days.These would then be dried in the sun and used for several months. Couscous was traditionally made from the hard part of the durum, the part of the grain that resisted the grinding of the relatively primitive millstone. In modern times, couscous production is largely mechanized, and the product sold in markets around the world.

Couscous from pearl millet

In the Sahel, pearl millet is pounded or milled to the size and consistency necessary for the couscous.

Madhulika’s Quote

“Israeli couscous is a pasta (like normal couscous), but rolled into larger granules. I like it for its texture as it is almost chewy. Every time I bring it to a party I’m always asked for the recipe.  So here it is!”

Over to Madhulika to explain us how to make this delicious recipe.

  • Israeli couscous:  It is man made and comes in white or wheat. The original couscous is made from Semolina (aka rava). Israeli couscous was manufactured during severe rice shortage in Israel. 
  • Tablespoon or so of olive oil
  • Colored bell pepper, red, yellow, green, orange etc.
  • Couple of cloves of garlic sliced thinly
  • A medium onion cut in thin strips
  • A bag of frozen artichokes
  • Broccolini florets
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Sundried tomatoes paste (a couple of tablespoons)
  • Parsley and/or feta cheese

cous_cous_salad Now here is the fun part Israeli couscous can be served hot or cold. Here is my favourite way to serve it warm. This recipe can be made and refrigerated for 4-5 days and is great heated up.

Put a tablespoon or so  of olive oil in a saucepan and heat, roast the contents of one box of couscous in this. When it turns a little brown add the recommended amount of water and cook.

Now cut up medium sized chunks of colored bell pepper, red, yellow, green, orange etc, couple of cloves of garlic sliced thinly, a medium onion cut in thin strips, a bag of frozen artichokes, and broccolini florets . Roast these veggies plus salt pepper, rosemary and Thyme in generous olive oil in the oven (broil) or on stove top. After the veggies cook (should be firm not soggy) add the cooked couscous. Toss together and adjust for seasonings. We love sundried tomatoes paste (they come in a jar already chopped) so I add about a couple of tablespoons of this. Toss well. Garnish with parsley, and or feta cheese.

It is really fun to try different combos of veggies. You can try even squash  and cherry tomatoes (roasted of course).

Note: This is the recipe .But i didn’t have artichokes & broccoli  at that time so didn’t put that . So, the picture will not have them.

cous-cous-saladThanks Madhulika! I’m sure the readers of CWM are going to enjoy making this Israeli delight.


  1. Very Healthy.... n a sure try recipe!!

  2. @Sandhya:Yeah,it looks yummy! :)

  3. @Madhulika:Awesome recipe and very nutritious too :)

  4. wow that was something more than just a recipe dear, thanks for the interesting info. it was a nice read :)
    Healthy recipe indeed!

  5. That looks lovely. And what wonderful information to go with the recipe.

  6. @Suparna:I m glad that you liked the information shared with you guys.If you have any interesting recipes or info,do share with moi.

  7. @K's mumbo Jumbo:Thanks a tonne for appreciating Madhulika's efforts to prepare this wonderful salad.The info just helped it to sum up :)

  8. nice way to add vegetables to the menu, interesting!

  9. @Akal's Saappadu:Thanks for appreciating.One can even make "dry bhel" using veggies and soaked case the couscous isn't available easily.

  10. Healthy salad.Nice click! Do visit

  11. First time here, I liked the information you shared...along with the couscous..looks very delectable. Also check our blog..

  12. new to your blog..very the infomations that goes with the recipes..following u..
    please drop by my blog when u get the time

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. @Priya:thanks a tonne.hope that it keeps you interested :)

  15. @Prasutikitchen:thanks.hope you enjoy many more recipes to follow shortly in the new year :)

  16. @Saju:sure,would love to receive updates from you.thanks for following and appreciating my blogspace.

  17. @Padhu:keep droping those comments and words of wisdom.hopefully,the subject matter should keep you interested for a long time :)

  18. @AtoZ veg cuisine:glad to have a new visitor.would love to hear from you more often :)

  19. Hi Manasi,
    ver interesting n well written post.. keep up the good work!

  20. This is awesome. Congrats on being featured in EC's blog. Do visist my blog when time permits.

  21. saw the post on ec's blog...congrats...great space u have here!

  22. i have seen a lot variations of this recipe.. but yours surely is one i'll try...

  23. @ Cicily: thanks,do try it out :)
    @Uma:thanks a bunch.
    @Shanthi:thank-you for your wishes and encouragement.
    @Meena:thanks,do keep reading the posts :)
    @Abraham:its a very tasty recipe too,fusion of textures.

  24. You have a great blog... and not only are your recipes yummy, the posts are informative. Look forward to more recipes from you!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog... I am following your blog too...

  25. First time to ur blog...Salad sounds healthy and delicious...

  26. Thanks for stopping by my blog.....
    Very good write up!! You have a great blog ...Few of your post are very informative and interesting. Just curious to know why you are not regular with your posts dear??
    I'm following you dear..
    Keep blogging!!!

  27. @Tina:thanks a tonne.many more healthy recipes to follow soon.
    @Deepa:thanks for appreciating the blogs.I was in India for few months after october and at the moment gymming to get rid of the "ghar ka pyaar" on the outer crust of the cook within!!would be back with tonnes of recipes that I tried when in India.

  28. Never made anything with this, it looks so healthy and tasty:) love your recipes.

  29. thats so versatile. never heard abt it. will try it soon. thx for sharing

  30. @Ann:thanks for give it a try.
    @Silpa: do try it soon and share your experiences.

  31. Enjoyed your write up..I like couscous,though I never cooked anything with it :-) this looks sumptious

  32. nice 'n healthy recipe... love ur space here.. following u..

  33. @ Gulmohar & Fathima: thank you so much for the appreciation and encouragement.Would be soon returning to vigorous blogging mode.keep reading!!

  34. This recipe looks interesting. Will surely try. Was very glad to see your post Project 300 recipes in 240 days, All the best to you. Happy cooking :)

  35. Hey Manasi,
    First time to ur such an informative food blog.
    Really appreciate all the hard work u put in to provide soo much info all at one place.
    Between, me a food blogger fm down under.
    Will be back for more delicious info.

  36. @ Rach: yep,the challenge is quite something...shows off on my hour glass figure now :P.
    @Chetana:thanks so much for appreciating the contents.Will keep up with your blog too!happy blogging till then :)

  37. Wow.. nice one... first time here.. Lovely blog. :)

  38. HEY THATS a nice yummy one....first time here and u have a nice blog....keep going....

  39. very nice blog..............if time permits plz visit my blog.........

  40. I love your blog!

    This looks so delicious!

    Have a nice time!