Couscous is a time-saving dream for a busy day, ready in minutes to serve a hungry family. It is derived from coarsely ground semolina flour, formed into tiny pellets. Standard cooking method for couscous is to simply add it to water or broth that has been brought to a boil and removed from the heat, covered for roughly 5 minutes until the tiny pellets become hydrated. The couscous takes on the flavor of the broth or seasoned water.
In this recipe I use a North African spice blend known as Ras el Hanout. This phrase means "top of the shop" meaning that in traditional spice markets, this is a spice blend created by the head spice maker. Each version can vary to the preference of the spice maker, but most contain cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, dried peppers, and turmeric. Once you become familiar with the name, you will notice that Ras el Hanout is available in most grocers or specialty shops.
The recipe is plentiful with leftovers for another meal. I served the couscous with the chicken burger and tzatziki sauce I recently posted. It was hearty and delicious.