• By: OLM Staff

Why and how to eat Pearl Couscous, a Middle East cuisine marvel!

Pearl couscous, also known as Israeli couscous, Ben-Gurion Rice, or Ptitim, is a type of pasta made from semolina flour and shaped into small, round pellets. It is a staple ingredient in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine and is commonly used in dishes such as salads, soups, and stews.

One of the unique characteristics of pearl couscous is its texture. Unlike traditional couscous, which is made from ground durum wheat and has a light, fluffy texture, pearl couscous has a slightly chewy texture and holds its shape well, making it a great option for dishes that require a bit more substance.

Pearl couscous origins and history

This rice-shaped kind of pasta has become increasingly popular in recent years. But where did this delicious and versatile ingredient come from?

The history of pearl couscous can be traced back to the Middle East, where it is believed to have originated in the Maghreb region of North Africa. However, it was in Israel where it truly gained popularity and became known as Israeli couscous. The dish was first made by North African Jews who immigrated to Israel in the 1950s and 1960s, and it quickly became a staple in Israeli cuisine.

But it wasn't just in Israel where pearl couscous was adopted. It quickly spread to other Middle Eastern countries and Mediterranean regions such as Lebanon, Egypt, and Tunisia. And now, it's enjoyed all over the world, from trendy restaurants to home kitchens.

Why is pearl couscous so popular?

One of the reasons for pearl couscous's widespread popularity is its versatility.

  • It can be cooked like pasta, in a pot of boiling salted water, and then tossed with a flavorful sauce.
  • It can also be sautéed with vegetables and herbs for a delicious and healthy side dish.
  • Another popular way to prepare pearl couscous is to cook it in a flavorful broth or stock, which will absorb the liquid and add more flavor to the dish.

One of the best things about pearl couscous is that it is incredibly easy to prepare. The cooking time is similar to pasta, usually around 8-10 minutes, and it's very easy to cook evenly. It's also a great option for meal prepping, as it can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When it comes to serving pearl couscous, there are many options.

  • It can be used as a base for a flavorful salad, mixed with vegetables, herbs, and a vinaigrette.
  • It can also be used as a filling for stuffed vegetables, such as bell peppers and tomatoes.
  • Additionally, it can be used as a topping for grilled meats and seafood, adding more substance and flavor to the dish.

Pearl couscous can also be used in soups and stews, such as minestrone, lentil soup, and chickpea stew, adding more texture and flavor to the dish. It can also be used as a topping for a vegetable or meat-based casserole, adding more substance and flavor to the dish.

Reasons to add pearl couscous to your diet

In terms of nutritional value, one cup of cooked pearl couscous contains around 175 calories, 7 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fat.

  • It is also a good source of complex carbohydrates, providing 35 grams of total carbohydrates per serving.
  • Pearl couscous is also a good source of dietary fiber, providing 3 grams per serving, which can help promote healthy digestion.
  • Additionally, pearl couscous is gluten-free and can be a good alternative for those with gluten sensitivities.

Whether you're looking for a simple side dish or a flavorful base for a salad, pearl couscous is sure to please. It's a great way to add variety and flavor to your meals while keeping them budget-friendly and healthy. With its unique texture and unique flavor, pearl couscous is a great ingredient to add to your pantry and explore its possibilities in the kitchen.

If after reading this article you got interested in trying a nice dish of Pearl Couscous on your own, then go to riceselect.com/product/riceselect-pearl-couscous and try this very easy and quick amazing recipe. Gather all the ingredients, follow each of the preparation steps, and enjoy!

Note: You might not have this ingredient in your pantry, but don’t worry, you will probably find it in any grocery store nearby.

Image Credit: Pixabay