A couscoussier is used to whip up a delicious meal of couscous and prepare the stew to be poured on top of it at the same time. It is a kind of traditional North African cookware. It looks very much like an over-sized double boiler, except that the top piece is a large steaming basket with holes in the bottom. You get inexpensive, lightweight couscoussiers, as well as those made of copper, stainless steel, and clay.
But first what is couscous? It is a popular dish although it has undergone several variations since the time it was first cooked. Basically a by-product of the durum wheat semolina grain, it is served with meat or vegetables as per preference. Nowadays, there are 2 versions of couscous – handmade and instant (machine made).
Details about couscoussier pots?
The Stockpot Bottom
The bottom or base of the couscoussier (barma) is essentially a large stockpot, often with slight contouring at the rim. It can be utilized alone to make soups, broths and stews other than what you might make to serve with couscous. Pasta and spaghetti can be prepared in it too.
The Steaming Basket
A large steaming basket (kesskess) sits atop the base. It doesn’t nestle deep inside the pot like some styles of steaming baskets, but rather fits snugly just inside the rim. Thus you can cook up large portions without hassle.
Tips for steaming couscous instead a couscoussier pot
The steam should rise only from the top of the basket instead of escaping from the joint between the basket and base.
Take a very long length of plastic wrap or kitchen film, fold it in half lengthwise once or twice, and drape and fit it around the rim of the base. Set the steamer basket on top and nestle it snugly into the plastic-wrapped rim.
If you are steaming with veggies, the stockpot tends to fill up and push the broth upwards. But the broth shouldn’t reach the steaming basket when it comes to a boil. Cook half of the stew in the couscoussier base and the other half in a separate pot.
Ease the couscous gently into the basket when filling it and avoid compressing it – wait for steam to rise from each addition before you put in more.
Ready to try your hand at some yummy couscous recipes? Buy a couscoussier and get started right away!