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Couscous au Beurre
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins
Couscous au beurre is a traditional North African recipe prepared with couscous with butter and vegetables. It is typically served with leben.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Algerian, North African, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 people
Author: Mike Benayoun
  • 1 lb precooked couscous semolina
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cups cold water , divided
  • 1 onion
  • 1 lb fava beans (frozen)
  • 1 lb artichoke hearts (frozen)
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 cups milk
Serve with
  • 4 cups fermented milk (leben or kefir)
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • Sugar (optional)
  • Raisins (optional)
  • ` Couscous steamer
  1. For the couscous, you can follow the instructions on the package (in a saucepan or in the microwave), or you can prepare the couscous more traditionally.
  2. Bring a large volume of water to a boil in the bottom of the couscoussier (steamer).

  3. In a large bowl, pour the semolina, add 1½ tablespoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of oil. Mix well by hand while rotating the bowl with the other hand so that all the grains of semolina are greased.

  4. Then add 1 cup (250ml) of water in 4 times while continuing to mix well between each addition. Mix all the grains enough so that they are detached from each other without forming any lump.

  5. Let the semolina stand for 5 minutes then pour it in the top part of the couscoussier.
  6. Place the top part on the bottom containing boiling water. Make a hole in the center of the couscous with the handle of a wooden spoon so that the steam circulates well, then cover as tightly as possible. Allow steaming for 20 minutes.
  7. Then prepare the broth: In a large pot, sauté the finely chopped onions in 3 tablespoons of oil without coloring them. They must become soft and translucent. Then add the finely chopped cilantro and stir a few minutes over medium heat.
  8. Add the fava beans, artichoke hearts, salt and cover with water (about 6 cups / 1,5 liter). Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes on low heat (you can test if the artichokes are fully cooked and tender by poking with a knife).

  9. Lower the heat and add 2 cups (500 ml) of milk. Simmer on very low heat until ready to serve.

  10. Transfer the steamed semolina in the bowl. Then gradually sprinkle with the remaining 2 cups (500 ml) of water and stir with a fork, again to ensure it is not lumpy.

  11. Put the steamed semolina back in the top of the couscoussier for another 15 minutes of steaming.
  12. Serve hot couscous in a large bowl, and melt 1 stick (120 g) of butter diced. Mix well. Serve sugar, raisins, broth and vegetables separately.

  13. The fermented milk can be used as a drink and/or it can also be poured in the couscous.