Are you ready for a highly refreshing Turkish couscous salad recipe today?
This couscous salad also goes by the name of ‘couscous kisir’ sometimes. Maybe you have even heard of it before?
You will also find other versions of this couscous salad recipe that ask for bulgur or wheat instead of the couscous that I am using. And they are just as good of course!
This couscous dish is quite close to the classic tabbouleh.
Because it is a pretty similar couscous salad if you look at the ingredients below. The only difference here is that oily tomato paste dressing that I drench the couscous in right before serving.
Since that red tomato oil gives it its particular bright red color and deep flavor.
Turkish Kisir (Tomato Couscous Salad Recipe)
Serve this red tomato couscous salad lukewarm or at room temperature.
I also added lamb sausages to my couscous salad recipe to turn it more into a main course.
You can easily make this couscous salad recipe a few hours, or even a day in advance if you like. Just cover it with cling film before you put it in the fridge for a while to prevent the couscous from drying out. Then give the salad a good stir right before you plate it up.
I love couscous because it is so light and easy to digest…
Do you love couscous as well?
Then you should also check out a couple of other couscous salad recipe here on my website!
How about a vegetable couscous with raisins and star anise? Or try out my latest recipe: buttery couscous with a flavorful Moroccan lamb stew.
You will love this one also!!
Are you looking for a lighter couscous salad recipe?
Then maybe this Moroccan couscous salad recipe with crunchy zucchini and cinnamon is more to your taste?
Keep reading below if you want to know more about couscous!
I hope you like this couscous salad recipe.
Tomato Couscous Salad Recipe
- 6 oz dry couscous (170 g)
- 2 tbsp red onion chopped
- 1 cup vegetable stock (240 ml)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- ⅙ cup olive oil (40 ml)
- a handful fresh parsley chopped
1. Bring the vegetable stock to a good boil. Transfer the couscous to a ceramic dish or glass bowl. Then add the hot stock and stir.
2. Cover the dish for 10 minutes until the vegetable stock is fully absorbed.
3. Once the couscous is cooked and tender, stir it with a fork. Break up any lumps. Pour the olive oil in a pan and place it over medium heat until hot. Add the tomato paste.
4. Stir and fry the paste for 2 minutes. Then add the chopped onion.
5. Take the pan off the heat and let the oily paste cool for about 5 minutes. Add the cooked couscous to the pan. Season with pepper and salt.
6. Stir well until the couscous is bright red. Add the chopped parsley and lemon juice.
7. Stir well. Then check the seasoning and add extra pepper, salt or lemon juice to taste. Transfer the tomato couscous to a serving bowl. Serve lukewarm or at room temperature.
So what is couscous exactly?
Have you ever wondered what couscous is actually made of?
Well couscous is a coarsely ground pasta and it is made from semolina, a type of wheat.
It is a very popular ingredient in Maghreb cuisine, western North Africa. You can steam couscous until it is very fluffy and light but you can also boil it or let it wilt in hot water until the grains are tender.
The couscous that you can find in your local supermarket is pre steamed and dried. That is why it takes just a handful of minutes to prepare it at home.
Couscous is traditionally handmade, or hand rolled to be more exactly.
The semolina flour is sprinkled with water and then rubbed and rolled until fine grains are created. Imagine how long it would take to hand roll a package of store bought couscous!
How To Serve Couscous
You can serve couscous warm as a side for a stew (tagine) of vegetables and/or meat, mainly mutton or chicken. Or prepare it as a salad: I’m sure that you know what tabbouleh it, couscous with freshly chopped parsley, tomatoes, mint and lemon juice.
And what about couscous desserts then?
Here’s an example: combine the fluffy couscous with a variety of raisins, pomegranate seeds, icing sugar, orange blossom water, cinnamon, nutmeg and dried nuts such as almonds, pistachios or cashews.
I have even tasted this couscous dessert in Marrakech, Morocco several times: it is absolutely delicious, what a super sweet treat! Gosh, I should make that at home and add to my dessert recipes now that I come to think of it…
This dish is as you can see well known in Africa. But nowadays couscous is also very popular in France and in mediterranean countries such as Greece and Italy.
Can you find couscous easily where you live?
What kind of couscous is it?
True, couscous comes in several types and sizes. Moroccan couscous is the fine couscous you can find everywhere. The grains are so small that it takes very little time to cook.
Israeli couscous is a larger type of couscous: it is also known as pearl couscous.
This one is my personal favorite!
Lebanese couscous (also known as moghrabieh) is another type of couscous. It has even larger grains and looks more like dried dough balls. You can boil Lebanese couscous or prepared it as a risotto.
Is couscous healthy?
Yes absolutely, it is!
First of all: couscous is very low in calories, lower than rice for instance! Also couscous is rich in proteins, minerals and carbs, which makes it a perfect part of your daily diet.
And it is a yummy alternative for rice, pasta, quinoa and polenta.
How to prepare couscous?
How to cook couscous?
It’s very easy to do because couscous is pre steamed and dried. Therefore the couscous only needs a short time to cook. I prefer to soak the couscous grains in hot vegetable stock in a glass bowl. Then I cover the bowl to let the couscous grains soak until the hot water is fully absorbed.
Make sure that the ratio between the couscous and the hot stock is perfect! Or the cooked couscous will either be too dry or too soggy. We are looking for tender grains that become fluffy once you stir it.
So then here’s the perfect ratio: 1 cup (240 ml) of hot stock per 6 oz (170 g) of fine Moroccan couscous.
That’s also the ratio that I use for my couscous salad recipe above.
Another way to cook couscous is to fry it first in oil or butter and then pour hot water in the wok. Take the wok off the heat, put a lid on it and let the couscous soak.
Why is it better to soak the couscous in hot water instead of boiling it over direct heat? Well because the couscous will otherwise become way to sticky and more look like a paste instead of fine crumbs.