‘Lemon-Cilantro’ Couscous

Today’s recipe is ‘Lemon-Cilantro’ Couscous. Couscous, pronounced as koos-koos, made its way into my pantry very recently, like about a month ago. Though I had tasted couscous dishes before at friends’ place and parties etc, I hadn’t tried them out of my habit to stick to my routine recipes. Well, finally when I explored the couscous culinary world, it wasn’t a hard shift at all. It is a very bland grain that doesn’t effuse its own strong flavor, just like rice. That makes this grain very versatile in terms of usage, since you can literally make anything with it like pulav, upma, salads, soups, or plain couscous with any side dish. In fact couscous is a type of parboiled semolina pasta, made from durum wheat. It is relatively high in protein and fiber. The whole wheat version is definitely healthier.

Now, going on to the ‘Lemon-Cilantro’ recipe, it is quite similar to the lemon rice recipe, except rice is replaced by couscous:


Couscous  – 3/4 cup

Water – 1 1/4 cup

Olive oil – 2 table spoon

Cumin – 1 tsp

Mustard – 1/2 tsp

Urad dal – 1 tsp

Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp

Turmeric – 1/2 tsp

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Green chilli – 4

Peanut or cashew – 1/2 cup

Cilantro – 1/2 bunch

Lemon – 1

Salt – 1 1/2 tsp

Sugar – 1/4 tsp


In a pan, boil water with 1/2 tsp oil and a pinch of salt. Add couscous and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Switch off the stove and let the couscous cool down.

In a heavy-bottom or non-stick pan, add oil. Once it heats, add in mustard,urad dal and cumin. When the mustard splutters, add curry leaves, green chillies and asafoetida. Stir for couple of minutes, add in turmeric and peanuts. Stir for another minute and add the cooked couscous. Sprinkle salt and sugar and mix well. Cover the pan and let the couscous cook in low for about 5 minutes. This helps the flavor of all ingredients seep in. Switch off the stove and add chopped cilantro. Squeeze in the lime and mix well. Serve ‘lemon-cilantro’ couscous while it is still warm.