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Cous Cous – Neil Perry style

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Cous cous is one of those things I am just soooo happy I discovered.

I was always a bit scared of it, for some reason. It looked complicated to make. Not only that, it looks like sand on a plate. Not exactly appetising.

However, when my brother gave me a Neil Perry cookbook a few years ago, I was flicking through and he had a really simple way of preparing it. I thought, if Neil reckons it’s a good idea – so do I.

So, this is how Neil does basic cous cous – it’s a great accompaniment with stews and casseroles. I mean I am a rice girl at heart – but cous cous is right up there for me.

Cous Cous – Perry style

  • 100gm of butter
  • 2 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
  • 400ml of boiling water
  • 2 1/4 cups of cous cous


Combine the butter olive oil and boiling water in a large mixing bowl. Once the butter has melted in the water, while stirring – add the cous cous. Leave until the cous cous has absorbed the liquid, then fluff it gently with a fork.

Put the cous cous in a steamer, which you’ve lined with a clean tea towel. Put over a saucepan of fast-boiling water and steam for 20 minutes.

This makes enough cous cous to serve 4 to 6 people. But – here’s a very important tip. Use a white, or light-coloured tea towel. I once used a blue one, and it turned the cous cous blue! Needless to say, I had to throw it away. You can also use some muslin cloth, if you have it handy.

This is a good base recipe to add other flavours. So, get creative.

Lisa Mary~




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