My Aunt’s Fast Semolina Couscous

For months, I have been wanting to talk about couscous on Labna, one of my favorite foods, and finally here it is.
I love couscous; at my house, couscous is the essential ingredients for many dinners, particularly for Shabbat or on holidays, when it accompanies lubia, car u’bsel, bamia, mafrum, and many other traditional dishes.


My Aunt Lois recipe is very special and different from any other couscous you have ever tried.
Traditionally, in all Arab countries, couscous is made with semolina, which is steamed for two or three hours in special couscous cookware until it is cooked.
My aunt, however, prepares the couscous with the semolina, cooking it with a method not too different from the way rice pilaf is prepared, obtaining a very light, fine-grained couscous (unlike the Arab one that is coarse-grained), which is incredibly fluffy.


My Aunt's Fast Semolina Couscous

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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 4


  • 1 cup of semolina
  • 3 tablespoons of linseed oil + 1 tablespoon to be used separately
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 glass of water


  • Put the semolina in a large, low bowl and knead with 3 tablespoons of seed oil until the oil is well absorbed.
  • In a nonstick pan, heat the water, the tablespoon of oil set aside, and the salt.
  • When the water boils, put the semolina and mix once, then reduce the heat to low, and cook the semolina for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the couscous thus obtained from the heat, and transfer it to a couscous, sieve, jellab, in Arabic, set above a bowl. Sift well, until obtaining a very light, very fluffy, and grainy couscous.
  • If you do not have a sifter, you can also try a pasta colander with a large mesh, but the sieve greatly simplifies things!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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