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Last Updated on January 23, 2023

Pearl couscous, ptitim or Israeli couscous is a dough made from wheat flour that is moistened and then toasted in the oven. It takes the form of small granules like conventional couscous, but it is not the same. The best known couscous is durum wheat couscous, which is part of the cuisine of countries such as Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and other Middle Eastern countries. 

Pearl couscous, ptitim or Israeli couscous is a dough made from wheat flour that is moistened and then toasted in the oven. It takes the form of small granules like conventional couscous, but it is not the same. The best known couscous is durum wheat couscous, which is part of the cuisine of countries such as Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and other Middle Eastern countries. 

Pearl or Israeli couscous

Pearl couscous began to be used in Israel during the decade 1949-1959. At that time there was a shortage of foodstuffs such as rice. When it emerged, it was a great success. It is a type of pasta made from moistened wheat grains, which are then passed through machines to give them a rounded shape and then roasted in the oven.

It was first made in 1950, and outside Israel it is marketed under the name of Israeli couscous because it looks so similar. 

When pearl couscous is cooked, it swells as it absorbs liquid and has a very pleasant texture. As they do not have a strong flavor, they combine well with all kinds of broths and foods. Pearl couscous, like tapioca or rice semolina, is nowadays considered a food for children, although its delicate texture and easy digestibility have made it fashionable on the menus of many international chefs.

Tabbouleh: a couscous salad with all the Middle Eastern flavor

Tabbouleh is a super refreshing salad with fresh vegetables, such as colored peppers (red, green and yellow) and tomatoes. You can add cucumber to make it even more refreshing and tastier. The result is a spectacular combination.

The main touch of Tabbouleh is provided by the mint and the dressing made of olive oil and lemon juice.
The mint, together with the cold couscous salad and fresh vegetables rich in water such as peppers and cucumber, make this Lebanese couscous salad a perfect dish for the summer.

Another reason is that tabbouleh is an exotic salad. It’s not the typical lettuce and tomato salad and it’s very easy to prepare.

This salad is one option of many salad recipes. All of them are worth making. You may want to cook or save another recipe for next time. Check this link: riceselect.com/product/riceselect-pearl-couscous.

Tips:

  • Hydrating the couscous in vegetable broth instead of water is the perfect touch to make it a perfect dish. You can add oil, salt and ground black pepper to the stock. This way the couscous absorbs all the flavor of the stock and is much more intense and delicious.
  • Another important factor to make the Lebanese couscous salad loose, once the couscous has been hydrated, is to add either a spoonful of lactose-free butter (or vegetable margarine) or a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and stir well with a wooden spoon so that the couscous grains remain loose and do not clump together (this is very important).

Ingredients you will need

  • 7 oz of RiceSelect® Pearl Couscous.
  • 200 ml. vegetable stock or water.
  • 1 tomato.
  • 1/2 small cucumber.
  • 1/3 red pepper.
  • 1/3 green pepper.
  • 1/3 yellow pepper.
  • 6 pitted black olives.
  • Fresh mint.
  • Juice of 1 lemon.
  • Vinegar.
  • Extra virgin olive oil.
  • Ground black pepper.
  • Salt to taste.

Preparation

  1. Heat the vegetable stock in a saucepan with a dash of olive oil, salt and ground black pepper.
  2. When it comes to the boil, remove from the heat and add the couscous. Leave to soak for 5 minutes, covered with a cloth.
  3. When it is hydrated, add a spoonful of vegetable margarine or olive oil and stir so that the couscous does not clump together and the grains remain loose.
  4. Cut all the vegetables (cucumber, colored peppers and tomato) into cubes. Chop the washed mint into small pieces.
  5. Mix all the ingredients in the salad bowl.
  6. Dress with lemon juice, salt to taste, vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

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