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Traditional Libyan CousCous

Updated: Mar 22, 2022

So meet Libyan couscous, cooked differently to the traditional Moroccan style, which is likely the more well known across Europe. Libyan couscous is truly divine, we steam our couscous for anything between 1.5 - 2 hours, over a bubbling tomato sauce, adding a chick pea and onion tomato sauce and topping with lots of delicious veggies that can vary depending on the season.

Libyan couscous is drizzled in the tomato sauce and returned to steam multiple times over the course of the 2 hour cook at 20-30 minute intervals making for a plump moist (not wet) couscous. Serve with Lamb, sprinkle with your favourite Libyan Hararat and add some flower spice and enjoy!

So, shall we get started on this super traditional, delicious Libyan speciality ?...lets go;

You will need a Multi Steamer and 1 additional pot

Shopping List:

1 kg Couscous

1 kg White Onion

3 Cans Chick peas

4 Lamb Pieces on the bone

Sunflower Oil

2 Tubes Tomato Puree

Tomato Passata




Red Chilli Powder


  1. Begin with the 1kg Couscous, place in a large mixing bowl, add 1.5 Tbsp Hararat (10 Spice Mix) drizzle sunflower oil and add 1/2 a Litre of of hot water, now mix the couscous well and set aside for five minutes to rest.

  2. Now time to make the tomato sauce that will bubble under the couscous and steam it. Begin with one large roughly chopped white onion, add sunflower oil and your lamb pieces, simmer on a low heat and allow to sauté. Add Salt, Pepper, and 1 TBSP 10 spice mix Hararat. Now add 1 carton of tomato passata and 3 large tablespoons of puree. Add one full kettle of hot water and allow to bubble, once the sauce is bubbling place on a medium heat.

  3. Pop the couscous into the steamer and place this top tier on top of the tomato sauce, create a hole in the centre of the couscous ensuring the steam from the sauce underneath starts to come through. Cover and allow to steam for 20-30 minutes.

  4. Whilst the couscous is steaming now its time to prepare your chick pea sauce, begin by pealing and slicing your white onions, around 1kg. Once sliced place into a medium to small pot, allow the onions to soften and stir from time to time to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.

  5. Once your onions have softened you need to add in the sunflower oil and allow time for the onions to become golden in colour, once lightly golden add in salt, pepper, chilli powder to taste and 1 TBSP Hararat (10 mix spice) add around 3/4 tube of tomato puree and boiling water to cover the onions completely. Allow this sauce to cook on a low heat for about 30 minutes, add in the drained chick peas and allow to cook for a further 20 minutes. Once cooked sprinkle a little Hararat (10 spice mix) close the lid, take off the heat and allow to rest.

  6. Going back to the couscous, once the first 20-30 minutes have past you need to take the couscous out of the steamer and gently place back into the original mixing bowl, then using the tomato sauce and a ladle pour some of the tomato sauce slowly onto the couscous. You definitely need to be careful with the amount of sauce you use, you do not want your couscous to be wet you simply want to allow the couscous to plump up. I would suggest between 2-4 ladles of the tomato sauce, (take a look at the video below, to help guide you with this bit).

  7. Once the couscous is mixed with the sauce, check the sauce in your bottom pot, if it has reduced too much you will need to add a little boiling water from the kettle, if it is still a healthy level you may leave the hot water top up for the next stage.

  8. Place the couscous back into the steamer and allow to steam for a further 20-30 minutes, you need to repeat this process between 3-4 times depending on how your couscous cooks.

  9. Whilst your couscous is steaming for the second time and your chick pea sauce is cooking, its time to prep the veggies, wash and peel your preferred veggies, we normally add 1 peeled and chopped (into large cube pieces) butternut squash, potatoes and carrots, you can use any or one of the above depending on your preference.

  10. The next time you remove your couscous from the steam and add the ladles of sauce to the couscous, will be the time you add your prepped veggies into the tomato sauce (the sauce that is bubbling below the couscous and not in the chick pea sauce).

  11. Once everything is cooked its time to assemble;

How to assemble

Layer one: Couscous

Layer two: Chick Pea Sauce:

Step Three: Add your veggies and lamb, and finish with a light sprinkle of 10 Spice Mix Hararat. To finish add a sprinkle of our edible flower mix.

Now it’s time to sit back, relax, pour a glass of ice cold cola to go with your delicious meal, don’t forget to tag us in your remakes ! 😌😍

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