Friday 11 January 2008


Moghrabieh is technically Lebanese couscous.

All couscous are made from semolina flour although the most common form is tiny and fluffy, serving the same purpose as rice in North African cuisine.

Israeli couscous is a medium sized couscous that is eaten much like pasta and is added to stews or salads and moghrabieh is the gorgeous large couscous that is most commonly eaten like pasta. I adore it.

I highly recommend moghrabieh, and it can be eaten with vegetables, meat or cooked in soups. It’s very versatile and delicious.

Recipe from Taking Tea in the Medina by Julie Le Clerc. Serves 2-3 as main.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1½ cups moghrabieh
4 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
15g butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 lemons
Salt & pepper to taste
¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup finely chopped fresh coriander
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté onions and garlic until soft but not browned.
2. Boil water in a large saucepan. Cook moghrabieh for 5 minutes then drain.
3. Add moghrabieh to onion mixture, add stock and bring to the boil.
4. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. The moghrabieh should become tender and most of the liquid should be absorbed.
5. Stir through butter, herbs, lemon zest and juice. Serve.

I added 10-15 chilli threads.
You could add chunks of poached chicken or strips of grilled zucchini to bulk out the meal.

I added the pretty, vibrantly coloured chilli threads which are apparently the filaments of a chilli plant (the part of the stamen that supports the anther). Since I’m not very familiar with chilli plants I don’t know whether this is true or not but they look like dried stamens so it sounds plausible.

They are not very spicy, but they do add a very mild heat and at least a little chilli flavour.

This is my contribution to Presto Pasta Nights, hosted every Friday by the lovely Ruth of Once Upon A Feast.



  1. What a perfectly lovely dish to start of the year. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night.

  2. I want that! All of it! I just got some Israeli couscous and I love it (mailed to me by Mele Cotte). Now I can go on a mission for this!


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