Mediterranean Couscous Salad

I bought this costly packet of couscous(also known by many other names such as sekrou, seksu, maghribiyya, suksukaniyya etc. in various regions) from Godrej Nature’s Basket simply because it sounded funny to me to say ‘couscous’. If you are a Tamilian you know why. I will spare the rest of you the sordid details of how I pronounced it and why it sounded funny! Since this is a food blog I must maintain a certain decorum (did you notice how subtle I have been so far?).

Well, since the small print to this post has been given dealt with in a big way, we can go ahead with the rest of it.

Couscous is a derivative of wheat, a tad bigger than semolina. It hails from Maghrib and is oft used in Mediterranean cuisine. However it is not a staple in India which is why I shelved out Rs.250 for 500g of couscous. If you are as intrigued by the grain as I was, don’t spend that much. Cous cous tastes exactly like vari. Vari takes quite some time to cook whereas boxed couscous comes pre-cooked.

Like rice it can take on any accompaniment making the combination a unique experience each time. Here is how we had the first batch of couscous I tried. I used the precooked boxed version. I call mine Mediterranean because I used red and yellow bell peppers, mushrooms, olive oil, generous doses of dried parsley, rosemary. Potatoes would generally not be a part here but I very much fancy it as a part of anything grain mixed with vegetables.

Recipe: Mediterranean Couscous Salad
Yield: Serves 3

Precooked boxed couscous – 1 and 3/4 cups
Water – 2.5 cups
Onion – 1 medium sized, finely chopped
Tomato – 2 small ones, chopped rough
Half a red bell pepper and half a yellow bell pepper
A few flowerets of cauliflower
A handful of shelled fresh peas
5 buttom mushrooms – halved
Potato – One cut into long thin wedges
Olive oil – 1 + 1 tbsp.
Dried parsley – 1tsp approx. I just sprinkled lots.
Dried rosemary – Same as above
Dried mint – Same as above
Dried garlic flakes – Really lots!
Salt to taste
A pinch of turmeric (optional)

Heat the water with salt to taste and 1 tsp. olive oil till it boils. Pour the couscous. Stir and cover.

Meanwhile pre-heat oven at grill mode. Cut and wash the vegetables (peppers and potatoes). Drizzle 1 tbsp. olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and paprika if you like (I did not use any red chilli powder or paprika). Grill till charred and potatoes are brown and done crisp.

Heat the rest of the oil in a wok. Fry onions to brown and add tomatoes. Add salt and cook further till oil oozes out. Now add mushrooms and cover and cook till done. Remove from fire add herbs, garlic flakes, grilled vegetables and stir everything together.

The couscous must have cooled nicely and absorbed all the water. Fluff with a fork and serve with the vegetables on the side or mix up the vegetables with the couscous well and serve as a single meal.


Harini is a vegan food photographer, writer and recipe developer. She also loves feeding birds, reading, watching crime thrillers, and travelling amongst other things.

Previous Post
April 28, 2010
Next Post
April 28, 2010


  • MeetaK

    I adore couscous and vegetables. a staple at our home. loving the simple and lovely flavours here!

  • WizzyTheStick

    Couscous is not popular here and I always love finding ways to prepare it

  • Rajani

    hey harini been checking out your food pics on FB excellent! this cous cous salad looks great super yummy! love couscous 🙂

  • veggie belly

    love the soft look youve gone for in these photos!

  • Aparna

    As one Tamilian to another, I know what you're talking about! LOL

    Having eaten this before, and I like it, I know its not worth the expense. It really tastes a lot like what we call "Bansi rava" uppuma.

  • notyet100

    yummy platter,..

  • indhu

    you managed to say a lot without quite saying anything 🙂
    for us tamilians, no trouble in guessing 🙂

    love the flavour combination and I think I too would prefer it mixed with the vegetables 🙂

    – Indhu (

  • Soma

    Don't know Tamil, so I will not play the guessing game here. may be I will leave things to my imagination? 🙂

    Lovely flavorful recipe. I love my "Couscous" or whatever.


  • Usha

    LOL Harini I think I will never be able to look at couscous again without laughing after your comment!

    The salad looks colorful and yum, and I never heard of vari before need to check it out the next time I am there….

  • Panchpakwan

    That one freah and smil salad..

  • Bellini Valli

    This couscous dish is impressiover and packed with the veggies we love.

  • Happy Cook

    I love couscous mostly i have only eaten with a stew of mixed vegetable and chickpe.
    Love the salade.

  • Sharmila

    Perfect for this heat Harini! Always love grilled veggies … haven't tried coucous though. 🙂

  • Mints!

    Looks so yummy! s

  • Srimathi

    Love the couscous salad.

  • AMA's AnythingVegetarian

    Very Funny Harini.A good laugh for after a tiresome day for me.Didn't even pay attention to the recipe.

  • Preeti Kashyap

    wow!..this is so yummy and colorful…and I love the herbs in it.

  • Nithya

    Wow.. yummy 🙂

Leave a Reply