How to Make Traditional Couscous with Chef Mourad Lahlou

Cook, Ingredient Spotlight, Regional Spotlight

Couscous is a cornerstone of Moroccan cuisine. The tiny pasta rounds are hand-rolled in Morocco before being slowly steamed in three sessions, resulting in a fluffy, tender texture. Though time-intensive, this method produces couscous that is infinitely more delicious than the instant, boxed kinds you find in supermarkets.


It’s important to start with real (not instant) couscous, which you can find in the bulk bins of some grocery stores and in specialty markets. After cooking, the possibilities are endless: finish simply with brown butter and parsley, or add chopped toasted nuts and dried nuts for a heartier dish.


See how Chef Mourad Lahlou of San Francisco’s Aziza steams couscous in his restaurant kitchen.

Learn more about Moroccan ingredients and cooking techniques here.

5 comments about “How to Make Traditional Couscous with Chef Mourad Lahlou

  1. Olivia Ware

    Hi kayaker, there is no exact substitute for a couscoussier, but you can try steaming couscous in a two-tiered vegetable steamer for similar results. Good luck!

  2. Mariam

    @Kayaker, you can use the pasta cooker that has shorter top pan (strainer) with cheesecloth, because the pasta strainer’s holes are bigger than the couscous grain.

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