Traditional couscous

This dish is one of the most famous dishes in the North African region.


  1. Put finely chopped onion and garlic into a deep pot with thick bottom or a pressure cooker, together with chunks of meat and some olive oil. Sauté over a low flame. Chop the carrot, parsnip and zucchini into wedges.

  2. Cut potato in quarters and roughly chop the turnip.

  3. Cut celery into wedges, same size as the carrot earlier.

  4. Add the vegetables to the meat in a pot with half a litter of water and increase the flame.

  5. Add half a teaspoon of salt and pepper. If you wish, add the chili pepper.

  6. Cook 40 minutes in the regular pot or 20 minutes in the pressure cooker.

  7. Add tomato, chickpeas and dried mint.

  8. Add another half a litre of water.

  9. Put 250 g of couscous into a large bowl. Add the remaining water and salt, plus half a spoon of oil. Mix it with your hands. Cook for an additional 30 minutes (about 20 minutes in the pressure cooker).

  10. Put the couscous into a steam cooker. After the steam starts coming out of couscous, cook for another 10 minutes. After that, mix it with hands, previously cooling them under the cold water. Put the couscous back on the steam cooker and repeat the sequence two more times.

  11. Add the butter and margarine and stir. Serve couscous piled in pyramid shape on a large platter. Put the meat in the middle and the vegetables around.

  • Ingreedients: 21
  • Number of persons: 4
  • Available ingredients
  • This recipe has been published in the cookbook Taste of Home.


  • 4 chunks lean lamb or chicken meat with or without bones
  • ½ large onion
  • ½ cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium size carrot
  • 1 medium size zucchini
  • 1 large potato
  • 1/8 turnip
  • ½ parsnip
  • 1 stick celery
  • ½ cup dried chickpeas
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ pinch dried mint
  • ¼ spoon sunflower or other vegetable oil
  • ½ cup tomato preserve
  • ¾ l water
  • 250 g couscous
  • ½ spoon butter
  • ¾ spoon margarine
  • ½ glass water
  • ½ spoon olive oil

About author


Rabah left Algeria 15 years ago. He was escaping social and political problems and looking for security. In his search for a new home he passed through various countries. He arrived in Croatia six months ago and is currently awaiting a reply to his asylum claim. He would like to settle here.


About country


After 1989 the new constitution allowed for the foundation of political parties other than NLF and Islamic Salvation Front achieved significant popularity, winning many votes in the first round of parliamentary elections. The second round was never held, as the military leadership stopped the electoral process, appointed their allies to lead the state, commenced persecution of its political adversaries and declared a state of emergency. Bloody civil war lasted until 1998, with frequent massacres of civilian population. In that period, around 100 000 people lost their lives. After that a relatively peaceful period ensued. Islamic Salvation Front was weakened and the situation stabilised, but many socioeconomic problems remain and occasionally cause unrest.

Starting from 2006, Al-Qa’ida branch has grown stronger in Algeria, with occasional terrorist actions. Since 2011, as a reaction to Arab spring, the Algerian government introduced reforms, including the termination of 19 years of martial law and increasing media freedoms. Demonstrations over dissatisfaction with the regime and socioeconomic situation continue, but they’re not growing into a mass movement or causing major conflicts. There are occasional violent protests and violent reaction to them, while Al-Qa’ida’s operations are getting stronger, with foreign tourists as their main target.

Every year, one in a thousand inhabitants leaves the country.