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Friday, May 5, 2017

Israeli (Pearl) Couscous Salad

Considered as the spiritual home of the Jews, Israel is one of the more westernized countries of the middle east with a high life expectancy and enviable standards of living. The latter fact hardly strikes one as surprising given that the 'typical Jewish trader' has been the immortalized in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice. While the 'Shylock' stereotype is quite too extreme, no one denies the business acumen of their tribe. And it makes for good reading too.

But we will save all that hard work for another day because it is the former that has got me all pumped up. The fitness freak in me has been reading a lot into the 'high life expectancy' part of it. Though I clearly do not wish to live up to a hundred years, I want to lead a life free from the lifestyle ailments that affect most of the adult Indian population. So, if taking a leaf out of another culture is going to help me deal with it, I will not mind doing it ! Ofcourse, we can take a lot of cues from Ayurveda or even our grannies notebook. And while I am a strong believer in the effectiveness of our inherited wisdom, I am not blind to a fault. I keep making efforts to augment it in every possible way.

Israeli food comprises of the usual Middle east suspects like Hummus, Msabbah, Falafel, Shakshouka and Couscous . The regular spices used are paprika, turmeric, cumin, thyme, salt, zaatar and even sesame seeds. Herbs like Parsley and cilantro are also popular. Sounds too good, doesn't it ? Not much of shopping to be done if one wants to enjoy some nice warm Israeli food this weekend !!

But if you not much of a weekend cook and would rather prefer to recharge your batteries, this is just the kind of recipe that you would savour. Assembling this easy-peasy Israeli Couscous salad is a child's play ( you still need to cook the couscous and chop the vegetables ). It is important to remember that Israeli couscous or pearl couscous takes more time to cook as compared to the other varieties that might just need soaking in hot water.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 cup Israeli couscous (pearl couscous)
  • 1 cup boiled chickpeas ( or canned ones )
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 small red onion ( chopped into small pieces )
  • 1/2 cup of fresh mozarella (chopped into pea sized bits)
  • 3 tsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley ( I substitute it with cilantro for my fussy kid )
  • 7-8 toasted and chopped almonds ( for a nice crunch )
  • salt to be added while cooking the couscous
  • 1/2 tsp oil to be added while cooking the couscous

For the vinaigrette -

  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar ( or just use more of lemon juice )
  • 1/4 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika 
  • salt 

Preparation - Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to boil in a saucepan. Add the salt and olive oil.

Toss in the couscous and cook on a medium flame till it is still chewy ( a few degrees less than al-dente). Drain the excess water if any and keep the couscous covered for 10 mins.

Uncover and fluff it up using a fork.

Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, cider vinegar, cumin powder, smoked paprika and salt in a cup.

Assembling - Take all the ingredients in a big mixing bowl.

Drizzle the vinaigrette, sprinkle the herbs and toss it all into one delicious salad !!

Hey, isn't this recipe just the thing you need for the hot summers :) :) :) .

I am grabbing a bowl, what are you waiting for ??


  1. I'm waiting to come to Bengaluru and grab your bowl 🍴

    1. Aa jao phir and take the bowl !! And give me the chance to cook some odia food for you :)


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