A light fluffy couscous and legume dish that works just as well in winter as it does in warmer months. Making the most of that frozen veg you have hidden away at the back of the freezer!
By using frozen you are not really missing out on anything apart from the hassle of shelling your own peas and broad beans.
Mesfouf is often eaten as a side dish or for suhoor the pre-fast meal.
It has no sauce as such but Algerians love to eat Mesfouf with buttermilk poured on top, they say it aids digestion. Whilst I’m not sure on the medical accuracy of that statement one Algerian proves it to be true by eating this by the bowl full and then saying “I’m hungry” a little later on….
- 125 grams of peas (65g) and broad beans (60g)
- 200 grams traditional fine couscous
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- pinch salt
- Boil a kettle full of water and carefully pour boiling water into bottom of couscousier. In the basket place your mix of peas and broad beans cover, reduce heat to simmer and steam for 15 minutes.
- In the mean time measure out your couscous into a large bowl, add a good glug of olive oil about one and half tablespoons, using a fork or between the palms of your hands mix into the couscous in a circular motion until all grains are coated, add 1/4 cup cold water or enough to just dampen the couscous and mix with a fork/hand again. Set aside.
- Once the peas and broad beans are cooked transfer to a bowl. Coat the bottom of the basket with 1/2 tbsp olive oil (be careful the basket may still be hot) and then place back over the pot. Once you see the steam coming through the holes pour couscous into the basket, do not cover but steam for 15 minutes.
- Tip couscous into bowl, add a pinch of salt then mix in as you did before 1/2 cup water. Put your couscous back to steam for another 15-20 mins. After this point if all couscous in not soft repeat adding water (just enough to dampen couscous) and steam for another 15mins.
- When the couscous is soft (not mushy) add it to your large bowl and fork through with another glug of olive oil until it’s fluffy. Add in your peas and broad beans and stir through. The residual heat coming from the couscous will reheat the peas and broad beans. Serve in smaller bowls with or without buttermilk poured over.
- You could reduce cooking time by covering the couscous with a lid. I prefer not to do this as I find the couscous can over cook and stick together more easily.
- Special equipment needed – couscous cooker (readily available on Amazon.com)
- The couscous required for this dish is the traditional one, not instant thats found in most supermarkets.
- In winter to keep the dish warm you may want to warm the buttermilk through in the microwave before pouring over.