Quick and easy couscous salad11:01 AM
It is steaming hot in Mumbai these days, in true October spirit, that goes without saying. As a result, my will to cook complicated dishes has all but melted like snow in the sun. Salads are the perfect dishes to prepare and eat in this climate and this particular one is super easy and quick to pull.
Couscous is originally the name of a Moroccan dish that is made of a semolina base and spicy meat and chickpea gravy. But, it isn't uncommon for the semolina itself to go by the name "Couscous" these days.
In Europe, that type of salad would commonly be called a "Tabouleh" after the Middle Eastern dish of the same name. BUT a true Tabouleh is made with broken wheat, not couscous semolina, so I choose not to call my salad by that name.
If you can't find couscous semolina where you live, broken wheat can be used just the same. While doing so, keep in mind the taste will be different and the prep time a bit longer (broken wheat requires a bit more soaking than couscous).
When I prepare this salad I use a very intuitive approach and do not really measure the ingredients that go in it, below, I'll give you an approximate, but you can easily adjust the recipe to your taste, what you have on hand and how many people you plan to feed.
As an indication, the bowl above gave me 3 big servings.
What you'll need :
- 1 cup to 1.5 cup of dry couscous semolina
- 1 boiled water in sufficient quantity to cover the semolina properly.
- 2-3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- a generous hand full of each basil leaves and mint leaves
- the juice of one kafir lime (use a regular lime, or an Indian lemon if not available)
- 3-4 table spoons of olive oil
- 1 table spoon rice vinegar
- salt to taste
1) Start by soaking your semolina. To do so, put it into a large salad bowl and pour boiling slated water over it until there is about a centimeter of water above the grains (a finger width or about a quarter of an inch if the metric system confuses you). It will take about 5 minutes for the grain to absorb all the water, once it has, use a fork to fluff up the grains and let it cool.
2) Halve your cherry tomatoes and mince your mint and basil leaves and add them to the cooled down semolina and mix well.
3) Add the olive oil, kafir lime juice and rice vinegar on top and mix again. Serve as it is or chilled, as a stand alone dish, or as a side to bigger meal.