Cool Couscous Salad

Photo courtesy: Pradipta Deb

Ingredients

(serves 2 persons)

  • Couscous 100 gms
  • Parsley 1 table-spoonful (finely chopped)
  • Garlic 1 clove (finely chopped)
  • Cherry tomatoes 7-8 pieces (chopped)
  • Carrots 1 small piece (fine chopped/shredded)
  • Beetroot 1 small piece (fine chopped)
  • Onion 1/2 cup (fine chopped)
  • Colorful bell pepper 1/2 cup (finely chopped)
  • Sweet corn kernels 1/4 cup
  • Raisins 1/4 cup
  • Red kidney beans 1/4 cups (boiled with salt)
  • Paprika/chili/black pepper powder according to test
  • Oil 1 tea-spoonful
  • Salt according to test
  • Boiling hot water 3/4 cup
  • Sugar 1/2 tea-spoonful
  • Roasted peanuts/pinenuts 1/4 cup (optional)
  • Boiled egg 1 piece (optional)

Recipe

  • Boil the red kidney beans (or beans of your choice) in water and a generous pinch of salt. Then, drain the water using a strainer, and keep it aside. 
  • Soak the raisins in water for 10 minutes. Then, drain the water using a strainer, and keep it aside.
  • Boil the beetroot. Then, drain the water using a strainer, and keep it aside.
  • Boil the egg and cut it in half.
  • Prepare the couscous by adding the hot water to the grains. Initially the grains must be submerged in water, which will eventually be totally absorbed in 8-10 minutes. Then stir it lightly with a fork to avoid forming lumps.
  • Put a pan on medium heat, put a tea-spoonful of oil (preferably olive oil) in it. Put the finely chopped garlic, onion and fry for a minute. The less you fry the garlic, the stronger will be the smell of garlic. 
  • Add the shredded carrots, boiled and chopped beetroot, bell pepper slices, and fry them for two minutes. Now add the corn kernels, boiled kidney beans and fry everything for another minute.
  • Add a pinch of salt, the paprika powder, or the black-pepper powder according to your test. Add the little sugar for complementing all the other flavors. Add 2 tablespoonful of warm water and mix everything.
  • Now turn off the heat. Transfer the whole mixture in a cool pot and preferably let it cool for some time.
  • Add the soaked couscous, the chopped parsley, the chopped cherry tomatoes, the soaked raisins and the lemon juice to the mixture. Mix everything well.
  • Serve it on a plate. Top it with a bit more chopped parsley, the egg halves, roasted peanuts/pine nuts, and a lemon wedge.
  • Serve it cool. You can easily store it in a container in the refrigerator for a week.

My food story

I first tasted this when I arrived in France. My office cafeteria serves it quite often. Couscous is very popular in Europe and middle-east. But this cold salad style of couscous is very refreshing. For vegetarians and vegans, the egg can be omitted. Nuts can also be avoided for those with allergies. This is best for summer. Eat this for lunch to get relief in the scorching heat. As Dijon mustard is very popular here, you can always serve it with a spoonful of that if you have access to that.

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