Information about Tunisian Couscous
Dish - Tunisia
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Couscous is eaten in most North African
countries, however it is considered to be the National dish of Tunisia. To read
more about couscous “the ingredient” click here .
As a dish, couscous served in Tunisia differs to that of the rest of North
Africa in two main ways. Firstly, the sauce is often red due to the use of
Harissa. Secondly, Tunisians often use fish with couscous: many other North
African cuisines have a leaning towards meat. It is traditionally cooked in a
special saucepan called a couscousiere which is a little like a double boiler.
The sauce and meat/fish are cooked in the lower half right next to the fire,
whilst the top portion has holes in the bottom through which the steam from the
cooking sauce can permeate into the couscous. When prepared this way the
couscous gets all the flavour of whatever is cooking below it. You can buy
There are dozens of recipes for the complete Tunisian Couscous dish but below is
just one using fish. You can find others on the main Tunisia Cooking by Country
page and throughout the site.
Tunisian Bluefish Couscous HT
MC Tunisian 40mins
Serves 4 Hot Fish Main Course Dairy
Free Tunisia Nth Africa North African
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Green Capsicum (Sweet Pepper) diced
1 large Carrot, diced
6 Spring Onions, green & white parts roughly chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 tbsp freshly grated Ginger
1 teasp Harissa
2 teasp Flour
360ml/12fl.oz. Fish Stock
The juice and grated zest of ½ Orange
1 teasp Fresh Thyme Leaves
675g/1 ½ lb Bluefish Fillets, skinned
(Substitute halibut, grouper, tuna)
400g/14oz Uncooked Couscous
1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, add the capsicum, carrot, spring onions,
garlic, ginger and Harissa and cook, stirring for 10 minutes.
2. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, for 1
3. Add the stock, orange zest and juice and thyme, and bring to the boil. Reduce
the heat then place fish on top, spooning some of sauce over. Cover and cook for
10-15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
4. Meanwhile, place the couscous in a large serving bowl and cover with plenty
of boiling water making sure there is at least 6mm/ ¼ -inch of water above the
couscous. Cover tightly and leave to stand for about 10 minutes.
5. To serve - fluff the couscous up with a fork then pile the fish mixture on
top of the couscous. Serve immediately.