Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pearl Coucous with tomatoes

It has taken me forever to come back to blogging!Oh how I have missed this part of my life!
Couscous has long been on my list of 'must try' and the box just stood a silent sentinel on the shelf.. days passed on to weeks and weeks to months but there was no change of status.
Finally today, tired of eating the same old stuff and the urge to blog made me pick up the box and rattled the contents ( much to the amusement of Little S).. and after a game of 'shakey-shakey.. box-box' to which the little tyke roared uproariously, I got down to the prep.
I adapted the recipe from Suvir Saran's American Masala

You need : ( serves 4-6)

2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Dry Red Chile
1/2 Cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp ground Peppercorns
2 med. Red Onions thinly sliced
2 tsp kosher Salt ( I used regular salt)
3 med. Tomatoes chopped
1 large cup Pearl Couscous
4 cups Water
1 tsp unsalted butter

Heat Oil with chile, cinnamon and peppercorn (ground) in a large skillet on med-high heat until the cinnamon starts to unfurl. Add onions and salt and cook, stirring often until onions are soft. Add tomatoes and cook until thick and jammy.
Stir in couscous and cook for a minute. Add 1 cup water, once the water comes to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium. Cook until couscous sticks to the bottom of the skillet and water is absorbed, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the skillet back and forth.
Add another cup of water and cook until water is absorbed, still stirring and scraping the pan.
Add another cup of water and cook until water is absorbed , stirring occasionally.
Add 1 more cup of water and cook until couscous is very sticky, stirring and scraping for about 10 mins.
Turn heat to lowest setting and Cook for 2 mins.
Cover the skillet and turn off the heat, let it sit for 5 mins. before serving.
I did not see where the unsalted butter was used....
Saran says :

Made in Rissotto style (sometimes called Israeli couscous) has a great toothsome pastalike quality is creamy and outrageously tasty. It is an excellent side dish or can even be served on its own with some Parmigiano -Reggiano cheese, some broiled shrimp or pan- seared scallops. For even more depth of flavor use vegetable broth or chicken or beef broth instead of water.

When I had the first morsel, I was not too sure I agreed with Saran about the 'outrageously tasty' claim. 'It's OK' was my reaction. But perhaps I am being too hasty, another small voice whispered in my ear.. and after the first few tentative bites I found myself liking it very much indeed ( ummm.. still not outrageously tasty, imho..). It takes time to get used to I suppose.. or maybe it is just my taste buds 'murdered by masalas' as M puts it. The simplicity and minimal use of spices always surprises me and I have now come to appreciate it!

The year is almost at an end and 'how time flies' is something I keep contemplating! This time last year... thoughts keep coming into my head.. this time last year I had entered my 2nd. Trimester and today.. today my little baby is already 6 months old! This time last year, I felt the littlest tug in my tummy, today, he TUGS my hair.. tugs my mangalsutra, tugs my shirt...

It has been a GRAND year and despite some downs, I look back on it with great satisfaction, happy and grateful for my treasure, my Boy!!

Hope to see you all soon,hopefully before the year ends!

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