Recipe for Tunisian Couscous

Tunisian Couscous

Couscous is one of the most common meals in the Maghreb. It is often eaten in Morocco on Fridays and in Tunisia on Sundays. The specific about it is that it is prepared in a pot with two levels so that the couscous can be boiled with the steam of the vegetables. This cooking pot is also named: “couscousiere”. Here is a simple-to-follow recipe for cooking Tunisian couscous.

Tunisian Couscous
Tunisian Couscous


  • Meat- lamb, beef, chicken, even fish. You can even do a meatless version of the dish.
  • 1 big onion chopped into large pieces
  • Salt, black pepper, red pepper, and coriander
  • Tomato paste


  • Fry the onions together with the meat till it becomes tender and the onions soften.
  • Add 2 full tablespoons of tomato paste and fry it gently.
  • Add water until less than a quarter of the pot is left.
  • If you have decided to use beef, please allow more time for the meat to be cooked.
  • In a separate utensil, the couscous is mixed with some vegetable oil so it’s well seasoned and excellently blended. Then sprinkle with enough water to moisten the couscous but not entirely soaked. The grains shouldn’t stick to each other but easily separated.  The couscous is placed on top of the sieved pot so it can be steam cooked.
  • Once the meat is almost ready, add the vegetables.
  • You can add chopped onions, carrots, garlic, whole potatoes, cabbage, and even chickpeas (as an alternative- you can add peas, pumpkin, or zucchini). Everything should be chopped into big pieces.
  • Slowly cook the dish by stirring the couscous once or twice so that it doesn’t stick.
  • Once everything is ready, pour the couscous into a large pot and stir it. Add a portion of the salsa and stir again. The couscous should be slightly moist. If it gets too watery, leave it for a while so the excess water gets absorbed before stirring it again.
  • Each plate is filled with couscous, meat, vegetables, and fried peppers

Enjoy your Tunisian couscous!.

About the author

Joshua Mok has been living in Tunisia since 2016. He has traveled extensively throughout the country, and has firsthand experience with the language, people, and culture of North Africa. It is his passion to introduce to others some of the best destinations in North Africa that he has experienced.

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