Steamed Couscous with Orange-Cumin Dressing Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Steamed Couscous with Orange-Cumin Dressing

Most of us know the cover-with-boiling-water method of preparing couscous, but steaming is the traditional way to prepare the grain-like starch. This technique produces light, fluffy couscous that won’t get waterlogged. Rice and other grains can also be steamed, though they require longer soaking times.



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1 cup couscous
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2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for greasing hands
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½ tsp. salt
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¼ cup sliced almonds
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¼ cup dried apricots, cut into ¼-inch dice
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¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
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2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
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2 tsp. ground cumin
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6 Tbs. fresh orange juice


1. Pour 3 cups water over couscous in bowl, then strain over large saucepan, collecting water in pan. Let damp couscous stand 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Bring water to boil in saucepan over medium-high heat.

3. Rub hands with oil, then massage couscous to break up clumps and separate grains. Stir in salt. Spread couscous onto steamer insert, set over boiling water, and cover tightly. Steam 20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, toast almonds in dry skillet over medium heat 3 minutes, or until just starting to darken. Transfer to bowl, and stir in apricots and parsley.

5. Warm 2 Tbs. oil, garlic, and cumin in skillet over medium heat 2 minutes, or until garlic is straw-colored. Immediately stir in orange juice to stop cooking. Heat 3 to 5 seconds, or until orange juice is warmed through. Set aside.

6. Transfer steamed couscous to bowl with almonds and apricots. Stir in garlic mixture, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition Information: 

8 g
Total Fat: 
11 g
Saturated Fat: 
1 g
44 g
0 mg
306 mg
4 g
6 g
Serves 4

Comments on this Recipe

Delicious recipe - but one edit: add more water at the outset if there's room or you will need to check on the couscous while it's cooking to make sure the pot doesn't run dry.

Absolutely outstanding. The steaming creates a wonderful texture and the dressing is an instant favorite.