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Pearl couscous, also known as Israeli or Jerusalem couscous, is great as a main meal or as a side dish, ideal as a salad or in a soup. The name originated from its shape and size, which are similar to a pearl. Couscous is chewy and has a unique, rich nutty flavour and a smooth, almost buttery mouthfeel. It is very versatile in many recipes and absorbs sauces and herbs well.
Pearl couscous can be served with curries or hotpots in place of rice or under your favourite sauce as you would pasta. It is also delicious added to hearty broths or soups just before serving. Chilled pearl couscous makes a great base for a Mediterranean salad.
To cook add pearl couscous to about 1 1/4 cups of boiling water or vegetable broth for the first cup of couscous, then 1 extra cup of liquid for each cup of couscous added. Cover and let simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally. When nearly done, add salt to taste and fresh herbs, chilli or spices as desired.
Fluff with a fork before serving. For extra flavour, dried pearls can be toasted for a few minutes in a little butter or oil before adding to boiling the liquid.