I learned last week that pearl couscous (also called Israeli or Middle East couscous) should be toasted before adding liquid to it. I didn’t think much about it at first, until I actually did the toasting. I really noticed a difference. I think it was less mushy and tastier. (Then again, it could’ve just been my imagination or that I added the liquid differently or in a slightly less amount. Who knows.)
Here’s how I made it: I poured about 2 TBSP of olive oil in a pan and heated it on medium heat. Once heated, pour dry pearl couscous into pan and toast over medium heat until slightly browned.
While that is toasting, warm the needed amount of liquid (water or broth) in a separate pot. Heat through and keep on simmer until the couscous is toasted. Add simmering liquid into pan of couscous and bring to boil. Reduce to medium low heat and simmer about 15 minutes, or until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Stir occasionally. When almost all liquid is absorbed, turn off heat and let sit for a few minutes. The rest of the liquid should be absorbed. The ratio for liquid to couscous is 2 to 1 (example: 1 cup liquid for every half cup of couscous).
Never put a lid on while cooking pearl couscous. Apparently the condensation inside the lid can drip down onto the cooking couscous and end up making it mushy. This was new to me as well. I was treating it like rice and covering it prior to finding out all of this info.
We really like pearl couscous, so it was best that I found out the correct way to cook it. We can enjoy its full flavor this way. 🙂