Monday, January 30, 2006

Couscous Upma - 1 of 12 new foods to try this year

One of my resolutions this year was to try 12 new foods so that I will start experimenting with new food stuff that I havent tried before. When I frst read about couscous and that it was a healthy grain, I was curious to try it. But never got around doing it at that time. When I visited Yamini, a dear friend, in UK, she mentioned that this is indeed a great grain and very versatile and can be a great substitute to rice. Rice, when eaten everyday gives a nice round belly, which we can probably live without. And then, Indira of Mahanandi fame also got me more interested to try this dish by saying nice things about the way couscous cooks. So, even if I don't like regular upma made with semolina, I decided to give couscous a go and got some organic couscous from my local natural health food store.

couscous - 1 cup
salt to taste
oil 1 tbsp
onion - 1 chopped
frozen green peas - 1 cup
raisins - 2 tbsp
cummin seeds - 1/2 tsp
green chillies - 2, slit lengthwise
lemon juice - 2 tbsp

Heat oil and add the cummin seeds. After they are slightly roasted, add the onions and green chillies and saute them. After two mins, add the green peas and raisins and stir for a minute. Add 2 cups of water and let it boil. When it boils, add the salt and couscous and stir. Indira mentions that the grain doesnt form lumps when added to water and I found it to be very true. Cook it covered for another 15 mins in reduced heat. Stir in the lemon juice and serve hot.

Both B and me liked the crunchy taste of couscous and we'll be making it more often. And now that the experiment worked, I'll be adding a lot more veggies the next time.


Doral.... said...

I have seen TV shows where chefs use this grain to make real wonderful stuff but i just wanted to wait for some Indian recipe but iam happy to find it in your blog so i will go ahead and definitely try it..Thanks for posting it...

Tina Jennifer D'Silva said...

Wow thats amazing... A must try for me Kate & yes... the pic looks so very delicious...

Mika said...

Hi Kay- Love your picture. I have to try couscous upma too. Your new year resolutions I read today seem very similar to mine (esp internet addiction!).

Lera said...

looks absolutely yummmmmy!

Indira said...

I'm glad you both enjoyed couscous upma, kay. We too like it a lot. and thanks for the mention.

I've a list of upmas with different grains. I make upma as a meal atleast once a week and I rotate the grains, for variety.

Kay said...

Doral, go for it! It's healthy, different and tasty too! Do tell how it turned out.

Thanks Tina, Mika and Lera, Do tell how it turned out.

Mika, I dont know how to get rid of internet addiction. Somehow there's always something I need to 'research' on the internet ;)

Thanks Indira, It was you who finally got me trying it. What other grains do you use for upma? I know wheat, coarsely ground rice flour is used and now couscous. Is there anything else you can 'upma' with?

Anthony said...

amazing dish...saved as draft for tomorow's links

Maya Cassis said...

wow...yipee i found a nice healthy breakfast recipe.

Sam said...


I got here from Indira's blog. One thing I have noticed with couscous is that I have never needed the 15 mins of cooking time that you and Indira seem to mention. For 1 cup of couscous, I always add 1-1/2 cups of water (the variation depending on how many veggies I have. If I end up using 1-1/2 cup of veggies I add 2 cups of water like you do) and then bring the water to a rapid boil, add couscous and stir and cover it with a lid. After 4-5 minutes yummy couscous upma is ready to savour. This is just like it is mentioned on the package to cook couscous.

Do let me know and if it works for you not to have the 15 min cooking time at the very end :).


Kay said...

Thanks Anthony, Maya and Sam!

Sam, I tried to cook it for lesser time as the package suggested. It was a bit more crunchy that I'm used to. Maybe I'll have to try with lot more veggies, then the crunchiness wouldnt be a problem. I'll try with less water and more veggies next time and let you know.