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Cous Cous – Algeria National Dish – Day5/Dish 3

January 11, 2010

Cous Cous – Algeria National Dish – Day5/Dish 3

To reach Algeria from Albania, we must re-board our ship and sail across the Mediterranean south by southwest past Tunisia and south of Gibraltar to Northern Africa.  Algeria sits at the extreme Northwest of the continent and is the second largest country in Africa, behind Sudan.    Algeria’s population is nearly 35 million. 

Algeria is home to the Berber people.  Here is a good link to more on Berbers of Northern Africa.

With the influence of Western European migration, Arab invaders and North African Bedouin culture, Algeria has a diverse ethnic makeup and many diverse food choices.  More research will offer many delicious regional dishes, but we are in Algeria to cook the national dish, Cous Cous.  I prepare Cous Cous frequently in my kitchen, however, it generally comes in a box and has a premixed spice package and is ready in 5 minutes.  You may know what I am talking about.  I am beginning to call these “Culinary Cop-outs” but the clock is ever ticking.

Today’s meal includes the Spanish inspired beef stew recipe I created.  It is a nod to the Spanish roots of modern day Berber people.  *The stew recipe is found here:    

In Algeria and other African nations, Cous Cous is a staple and can be prepared many ways including with vegetables or meat and as a main course or as a side dish.   A special steamer called a Couscousiere is used, but a standard metal strainer will work well.  For the quick method below you will get very good results with a minimum of work.  Ease of preparation: 1 out of 5  There are much longer preparation methods found online, but they are impractical for most cooks.


CousCous:  National Dish of Algeria



Appearance: 3 out of 5

Aroma:  3 out of 5

Taste: 4 out of 5

Total: 10 out of 15


1 cup water

1 ¼ cup CousCous

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil

3-4 pats of butter


Put couscous in a bowl.

Pour boiling water over couscous and wait about 5 minutes.

Fluff with fork while stirring in 3 to 4 pats of butter. (Ratio of about 1 1/2:1 of water to couscous.)

*Prepare the stew according to the directions and prepare the CousCous as the stew comes off the stove.  Spoon CousCous into a bowl or platter and ladle the stew overtop. Delicious!!!  (The ratings in the recipe do not include the stew.  With the stew, this dish is an easy 14-15.

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