Giant Cous Cous with Red Peppers and Pomegranate Molasses

4 Mar

Giant Couscous with Peppers & Pomegranate Molasses (1)

My new best friend, Yotam Ottolenghi, mentions giant cous cous (or Mograbieh) more than once in his cookbooks. I was keen to try it and surprised to come across it in a local supermarket.

Cooking instructions vary, I expect, from make to make but generally it seems to be cooked very much like pasta (i.e. boiled) and not like the traditional cous cous I am more familiar with.

I cooked mine in vegetable stock and left it quite “wet” when done, then mixed it with chopped roasted peppers, flaked almonds, some olive oil and lemon juice, salt & pepper and a tablespoon of pomegranate molasses.  I served mine with a grilled steak and some avocado. It was a great side dish. I think with other flavours or vegetables it would make a lovely vegetarian main or a filling salad dish.

Giant Couscous with Peppers & Pomegranate Molasses (4)

Would I buy it again? In all honesty, unless it was on special offer, probably not, I think I’d rather have pasta or cous cous and not pasta type cous cous, but I’m glad I tried it.

Maybe I’m just an old fashioned girl at heart…


45 Responses to “Giant Cous Cous with Red Peppers and Pomegranate Molasses”

  1. thecompletecookbook March 4, 2013 at 13:50 #

    It looks fantastic – love what you did with it. I too have only ever made the “regular” couscous and you could add all these delicious flavours to the regular one and have an equally as scrumity meal.
    Have a beautiful week ahead.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Chica Andaluza March 4, 2013 at 14:34 #

      Yes, this was new to me…I think it was the flavours that “made” it!

  2. Mad Dog March 4, 2013 at 13:53 #

    I think I might try it – I like the look of the texture.
    What’s a faked almond?

    • Chica Andaluza March 4, 2013 at 14:33 #

      Oops – a typo sneaked in! Do give it a go, would be interested to know what you think…

      • Mad Dog March 4, 2013 at 16:35 #

        Ah flaked! I thought you were using faux almonds or had a novel way of recooking them…

      • Chica Andaluza March 4, 2013 at 20:47 #

        No, I was just being a bit “flakey” myself 🙂

  3. 76sanfermo March 4, 2013 at 13:59 #

    I ‘ve never tasted it , but thank you for pioneering…!
    I like the way you cooked it and the vegetables you used with it!

  4. cookinginsens March 4, 2013 at 14:08 #

    Good looking steak!

  5. chaiselongue1 March 4, 2013 at 14:45 #

    It looks wonderful! I saw giant couscous when I was in London, but didn’t buy any….maybe next time. I love the idea of pomegranate molasses and I think that could be used with the usual couscous grains.

    • Chica Andaluza March 4, 2013 at 20:49 #

      Do give it a go….am interested to hear what others think. Pomegranate molasses turn everything into something special!

  6. chefconnie March 4, 2013 at 15:13 #

    I love the creamy texture of israeli couscous.

  7. spree March 4, 2013 at 16:16 #

    The flavors you’ve put together with this giant couscous sound pretty wonderful Tanya – now I’ve got to go see what (our mutual best friend) Ottolenghi has done with it…

    • Chica Andaluza March 4, 2013 at 20:48 #

      I’m sure he’s done much more exciting things…maybe that was my problem, I should have followed one of his recipes and not gone “off piste” on my own!

  8. Tandy March 4, 2013 at 16:35 #

    Love your new best friend and your opinion on the cous cous Tanya 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza March 4, 2013 at 20:47 #

      Well, I suppose you can’t love everything your besties love!

  9. narf77 March 4, 2013 at 18:53 #

    Steve bought me some a while back from the health food shop but I am not really a pasta girl and only like couscous because it soaks up liquid and flavour and becomes fluffy. We call it Israeli couscous here and there are lots of recipes for it but like you, it’s not really something that I would go out of my way to buy and it is still sitting in its prison jar on the pantry shelf waiting for me to run out of something before I try it ;). The avocado addition to it would make me want to try it though and perhaps with lots of slivered caramelised onion, garlic and some wilted silverbeet/spinach it might get a bit more character. I think it just looks “bland” but I am sure that as you say, “It’s all in the flavours” 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza March 4, 2013 at 20:46 #

      I think we’re of the same mind on this one! Can’t say I disliked it, but it was like eating something that couldn’t make its mind up over what is wanted to be!

      • narf77 March 4, 2013 at 20:49 #

        Exactly! I bet Yotam could make it scrumptious but I doubt that I could 😉

      • Chica Andaluza March 4, 2013 at 21:01 #

        Bet you could with all your lovely garden produce!

      • narf77 March 5, 2013 at 02:08 #

        You need imagination to deal with small round tasteless balls like that and I am afraid I am a bit lacking in the imagination stakes when the product doesn’t have a lot of nutrition tied up with it. I would rather use grains like barley and rice etc rather than man made starchy balls 😉

  10. Eha March 5, 2013 at 02:54 #

    Love Israeli couscous: just use it as another ‘grain’ when the mood strikes and it seems to match the protein 🙂 ! You probably had Yotam Ottolenghi’s wonderful series of TV cookery shows of Mediterranean cooking ages ago: we just began on our famous ‘food porn’ night last week with Ottolenghi in Morocco [plenty of couscous]: methinks he became everybody’s ‘new best friend’ then and there 😀 ! Turkey this week: can’t wait!!

    • Chica Andaluza March 5, 2013 at 14:41 #

      We only had it a couple of months ago, and although I already had one of his books it made me go out and buy Jerusalem. He’s still on my best friend list….I love hi style of cooking. And I think you’re right, I’ll just use it as another grain 🙂

  11. TBM March 5, 2013 at 10:06 #

    Well you gave it a go. The pictures looks tasty.

    • Chica Andaluza March 5, 2013 at 14:40 #

      I did, and it wasn’t horrible or anything, it just didn’t make me go “wow”!

  12. ChgoJohn March 5, 2013 at 15:57 #

    It looks good, Tanya, and the ingredients you used sound tasty. For me, add a little parmigiano, some farfalle and ditch the couscous and the dish would be spectacular. 😉
    You did cure my curiosity, though. I don’t think I’ll be buy some anytime soon. Thank you for that.

    • Chica Andaluza March 5, 2013 at 19:19 #

      Love it…I like the sound of your “cous cous”! Sometimes you have to try something because it’s been hyped so much, and I can’t say I didn’t like it. But as my grandmother used to say, it’s a bit liked talking to yourself!

  13. theglobalgarnishgeek March 5, 2013 at 23:12 #

    Is this the same as Israeli Couscous? It looks the same – just small balls of semolina pasta? I love the stuff – such a nice little shape….

    • Chica Andaluza March 5, 2013 at 23:15 #

      From comments I’m getting here I think it is…perhaps I need to give it a second chance!

  14. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen March 6, 2013 at 03:29 #

    My family loves this sort of cous cous because it’s more substantial I think, than the regular fluffy cous cous (although I do love both!). I think the ingredients you’ve chosen are marvelous.. it would be worth me picking up another packet just to try the pomegranate molasses! Thanks for the inspiration, Tanya!

    • Chica Andaluza March 6, 2013 at 09:42 #

      I think you’re right – and I need to stop thinking of them as regular cous cous and consider them in a new light!

  15. PendleStitches March 6, 2013 at 23:46 #

    I saw this in the supermarket this week and wondered…now I don’t need to! Cheers!

    • Chica Andaluza March 7, 2013 at 09:27 #

      Aha – I think that if you think if it more as tiny pasta and less as cous cous, it makes sense!

  16. Karen March 7, 2013 at 01:45 #

    Hi Tanya, I do think that you have to give the couscous another chance. Known here in the states as Israeli couscous, I always keep it in my pantry and use it often. I love the wonderful texture and its ability to absorb the flavors of the broth it is cooked in.

    • Chica Andaluza March 7, 2013 at 09:29 #

      After reading all the comments in favour of it, I am determined to give it another go…this time I’ll take Mr Ottolenghi’s advice!

  17. Purely.. Kay March 7, 2013 at 18:57 #

    I haven’t had cous cous in such a long time, and truthfully I have no idea why. But I tend to like pasta better as well. But it does look delish in the photo.

    • Chica Andaluza March 8, 2013 at 21:44 #

      It was good to try something new and I think I’ve got my head around its “difference” now!

  18. Promenade Claire March 8, 2013 at 16:58 #

    So Yottam is your new best friend? Seeing as I’m prepared to share my sea I think you should share “our” new best friend 🙂
    Where did you get the pomegranate molasses from?

    • Chica Andaluza March 8, 2013 at 21:44 #

      Ok, that sounds fair to me! The pomegranate molasses came from Waitrose (via my dad on his Vespa in London, then on to me down here…not by Vespa I hasten to add)!

  19. Rachel March 8, 2013 at 23:37 #

    Yes, I agree – I like my couscous small. Otherwise it sort of becomes tapioca or something (but that could be operator error on my part…). Still, this sure sounds yummy! Mmmm…

    • Chica Andaluza March 9, 2013 at 09:37 #

      We have an interesting mix of views on this cous cous out here….am really enjoying hearing everyone’s thoughts!

  20. kathryningrid March 11, 2013 at 22:50 #

    Sounds wildly tasty! 🙂 I like pretty much any variety of couscous I’ve managed to taste, sweet or savory, large or tiny, hot or cold, and this mix of ingredients looks and sounds stellar.

    • Chica Andaluza March 12, 2013 at 10:36 #

      Thanks so much…I have tried it again since first posting and am growing to love it more!

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