Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Upma with Couscous

The only ethnic grocery in our small town is a Middle Eastern shop called Ghossains Mid East Bakery. We buy dates and couscous, occasionally goat cheese, pita bread and baklava and other Middle Eastern sweets like mamoul from that shop.

I love the shape, texture and taste of tiny round couscous. Even though the authentic way to make couscous (according to middle easterners) is using a coucousiere (double boiler with a perforated top to hold the couscous), I make it just like bulgar/suji/semolina upma and with lots of vegetables for a light meal.



2 cups couscous
Vegetables: onion, green chillies, tomato, bell pepper, potato, carrot, ginger, garlic – all finely chopped – how much, your choice.
One fistful of fresh peas and golden raisins
1 tablespoon of ghee
1 teaspoon of cumin and mustard seeds
Limejuice to taste and fresh cilantro for garnish

Melt ghee in a big pan. Toast cumin, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Add and sauté the finely chopped vegetables (onions, tomato, green chilli, bell pepper, potato, carrot, ginger, garlic, peas and raisins) until they turn light brown. Add three cups of water and stir in half teaspoon of salt. Cover, increase the heat and bring that water to rolling boil.

Stir in couscous. It won’t form lumps unlike suji/semolina. Very forgiving, you don’ even have to stir, just pour all of couscous into hot water without any worries of lump formation. Cook covered over low medium heat for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Uncover and cook until fluffy. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro. For zing, drizzle some lime juice and serve hot.

Couscous Upma
Couscous Upma ~ a light meal today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Couscous,Goduma (Wheat) (Wednesday November 23, 2005 at 4:13 pm- permalink)
Comments (26)

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26 comments for Upma with Couscous »

  1. I love upma although Shankar (husband) does not like so much. That looks exactly like broken wheat upma, yum. I have frozen veggies, so I think I will make it as a tiffin during the long weekend.

    Comment by mika — November 23, 2005 @ 4:35 pm

  2. I *love* couscous. Matt’s not as crazy about it as I am, but I think it’s one of those perfect foods.

    When I’m in a pinch, I cook some up with a boullion cube, and some toasted pecans. Perfect!

    Comment by Stephanie — November 23, 2005 @ 7:52 pm

  3. There’s little difference between Bulgar and broken/cracked wheat.And i think the love for couscous is commonly shared by women.Men don’t seem to be very fond of it.None of my guy-friends eat it.Hmmm…what could be the reason? Or is it just me?

    Comment by Sandhya — November 23, 2005 @ 8:42 pm

  4. That’s really tempting!

    I guess, Indian supermarkets don’t stock the main ingredient ” couscous”.The mention of baklava,got me craving so badly now–I just love it! A recipe post would sound great!

    Comment by Lera — November 23, 2005 @ 10:11 pm

  5. Mika…we both like it, only with lots of vegetables in it. I make it like one plate meal loaded with all kinds of vegetables.

    Stephanie…ahh..really? May be he will like this version with lots of vegetables etc.,
    Yep, me too.. when I am on short of time and appetite, I make couscous. Very easy to make.

    Sandhya.. I think bulgar and broken/cracked wheat are the same.

    Lera… I never saw/bought middle eastern couscous in Indian stores before here in US. Have you? If you think “couscous” is same as suji/semolina, you are wrong.

    Comment by Indira — November 24, 2005 @ 6:34 am

  6. hey, I think you have got me wrong here, I am based in India and am talking about indian stores in India and not US-

    Comment by Lera — November 24, 2005 @ 9:25 am

  7. We all loved your UPMA..
    It is wonderful…

    Indira says…
    LOL..that’s much better, you are indeed a smart girl.

    Comment by Smartgirl — November 24, 2005 @ 10:13 am

  8. i love your website, indira. you have such great posts and terrific pictures.

    Comment by Lulu — November 24, 2005 @ 11:19 am

  9. Hmmm… I admit I’m not a fan of upma, but this recipe with couscous sounds so healthy that I’m going to try it soon. Thanks Indira.

    Indira says..
    Hi Kay, this is a good, easy one to make and tasty too. Do let me know how it turns out. thanks!

    Comment by Kay — November 24, 2005 @ 4:12 pm

  10. Hi Indira:

    First off, I should say that I am now addicted to your blog. It is amazing.

    I had made a Morrocon dish a while back and used couscous in it and have some leftover. I will try making upma with it.

    I sometimes make upma with grits and it comes out really good.


    Indira says…
    Hello Sam, I have to say, you have a very good addiction.:) Thanks for the compliments.
    Do let me know how the recipe turns out.
    I like all kinds of grains, whole or broken. I have to try the grits upma, then. Thanks for the idea.
    Do you have any speical tips for this upma or should I go ahead make it like regualr broken wheat kind of upma?

    Comment by Samatha — November 24, 2005 @ 8:12 pm

  11. thats a lovely shot.
    frankly i come for them 😉

    Comment by anusharaji — November 24, 2005 @ 10:56 pm

  12. hi please tell me the hindi name of couscous. and also tell me where can i find it in india.

    Thanks in advance.

    Comment by toral — January 20, 2006 @ 9:42 am

  13. you are great!
    nooru ooduthondi

    Comment by lavanya — April 1, 2006 @ 12:36 pm

  14. Hey Indira,

    Mouth watering upma indeed! However I am wondering what is the calorific value of couscous…is it better than upma rava to consume?

    Comment by sri — July 21, 2006 @ 3:35 pm

  15. I love couscous too, grew up with my grandma making it.. it’s true, authentic CousCous is made with a coucousiere, and takes hours to be ready, however I just buy the little packages that only require very little time to make.

    Comment by lou — August 13, 2006 @ 6:17 pm

  16. I use this grain alot and add 1/2 pkg of frozen mix. veg. and 1 cup of toasted peanuts. adding a lot of corianderleaves and adding 1/2 tsps of butter is great. also i have tried this with different stir fry frozen vegetables makes it very yummy. enjoy. Jyothi

    Comment by jyothi mcminn — June 17, 2007 @ 11:50 pm

  17. Hi!
    At first I thought couscous must be the ‘sago’ or ‘javvarisi’ in Tamil. The photo looked like that. But someone said couscous wasn’t available in India, and there has been no response to someone else’s request for the Hindi equivalent. What exacvtly is it? Even if it isn’t sago, can I try he recipe with sago? Sabudhana Kichidi?

    Comment by usha — June 26, 2007 @ 2:55 am

  18. Namaste Indira,

    Meeru publish chese prati food item chala special ga untundi. We honour your work.
    Chala mandi (madhi warangal jilla kabbati language different untundi) telugu vallaki (may be across India) english padhalaki telugu ardhalu thelisi undavu.
    Chala blogs lo meeru maximum try chesaru telugu lo vati vati items names enti ani.
    Meeku kodiga kastanga untundachu content develop chese tappudu kani item names translation telugu lo undadam valana aa blog ki chala dagaraka avuthamu. We feel the food and the warmth in the blog of our own nativity.

    Best Regards,
    Sandeep Ch

    Comment by Sandeep — December 23, 2007 @ 12:23 am

  19. Indira,

    I just ate couscous upma with edamame, tomato and carrot in my lunch dabba. It was *blog worthy*.

    Thanks for all of your hard work.

    Couscous upma for lunch. Yum!:)
    Thanks Padmaja for your wonderful comments. Greatly appreciate the feedback.

    Comment by Padmaja — June 4, 2009 @ 10:58 am

  20. Could u pls let me know if couscous is diff from dalia (also called lapsi, bulgur)? if so, wouldnt dalia take a longer time (and extra water) to cook as upma?

    Comment by Lil — July 26, 2009 @ 9:50 am

  21. Is cous cous called swang ka chawal ,the one we eat during navratra

    Comment by MAMTA — December 3, 2009 @ 8:32 am

  22. 2 cups cousccous makes a large quantity. It can feed 6-8 people.

    Comment by Lizzy — November 4, 2010 @ 7:36 pm

  23. Still can’t find what it’s called in Hindi ?

    Comment by Mani — September 8, 2011 @ 6:17 am

  24. well couscous is not a middle eastern dish, it´s a north african (algeria, tunesia and marocco). and has nothing to do with easterners. if you mean tabouleh (syrian, lebanese, palestinian) it´s also maid of grain but has nothing to do with couscous.

    Comment by farah — April 15, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

  25. Hello,

    Can some one please tell me where can i find couscous in Mumbai, India.
    What exactly the couscous is known in India.


    Comment by Lata — May 9, 2012 @ 4:25 am

  26. Hi Indira – I made this tonight with some basic veggies..It’s come out really well and so close to semolina upma..Also ready within 30 minutes…Thank you for sharing the recipe..I just google for couscous Indian recipe and this is the first result that showed up..:)..


    Comment by Smita — February 24, 2013 @ 10:33 pm

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