Couscous is a typical Berber food that has become popular in many countries. Couscous granules are made by rolling and shaping moistened semolina wheat and then coating them with finely ground wheat flour. The finished granules are roughly spherical shape and about one millimeter in diameter before cooking. Different cereals may be used regionally to produce the granules. Traditional couscous requires considerable preparation time and is usually steamed. In many places, a more-processed, quick-cook couscous is available and is particularly valued for its short preparation time. Couscous is traditionally served under a meat or vegetable stew. It can also be eaten alone, flavored or plain, warm or cold (e.g., mixed with Tabbouleh), or as a side dish.
Properly cooked couscous should be light and fluffy, not gummy or gritty; steam the couscous two to three times to achieve this consistency. Traditionally, North Africans use a food steamer (called a kiskas in Arabic or a couscoussière in French). The base is a tall metal pot shaped rather like an oil jar in which the meat and vegetables are cooked as a stew. On top of the base, a steamer sits where the couscous is cooked, absorbing the flavours from the stew. The lid to the steamer has holes around its edge so steam can escape. It is also possible to use a pot with a steamer insert.
In Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, couscous is generally served with vegetables cooked in a spicy or mild broth or stew, and some meat.
In Tunisia it is made mostly spicy with harissa sauce, it is served with almost everything, including Lamb, Beef, Camel, and poultry. Fish couscous is Tunisian specialty, it can be also made with octopus in hot red spicy sauce. Couscous in Tunisia is served in every occasion, it is also made as dessert mostly in Ramadan Masfouf.
In Morocco and Algeria it is also served, sometimes at the end of a meal or just by itself, as a delicacy called “seffa”. The couscous is usually steamed several times until it is very fluffy and pale in color. It is then sprinkled with almonds, cinnamon and sugar. Traditionally, this dessert will be served with milk perfumed with orange flower water, or it can be served plain with buttermilk in a bowl as a cold light soup for supper.
Couscous is among the healthiest grain-based products. It has a glycemic load per gram 25% below that of pasta. It has a superior vitamin profile to pasta, containing twice as much riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and folate, and containing four times as much thiamin and pantothenic acid.
In terms of protein, couscous has 3.6g for every 100 calories, equivalent to pasta, and well above the 2.6g for every 100 calories of white rice. Furthermore, couscous contains a 1% fat-to-calorie ratio, compared to 3% for white rice, 5% for pasta, and 11.3% for rice pilaf.
Nomad restaurant in East Village will hold the event, Couscous Festival from September 23rd till September 26, 2010. Each night will have ethnic themes as;
Algerian Night, September 23rd
Tunisian Night, September 24th
Moroccan Night, September 25th
Mediterranean Night, September 26th
There will be different menu for each night, a three course meal for $25 fixed, with the complimentary glass of signature sangria.