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Buttered Couscous with Fresh Chopped Herbs

Quick & Easy Buttered couscous with lots of fresh herbs makes a perfect side dish for a host of North African & Persian recipes!

Portrait image of a herby buttered couscous served with a lemon wedge

How to Cook Couscous.

Almost all commercially available couscous available to us in Europe and the US is pre-cooked. By that, I mean that it has already been steamed and dried.

All we have to do is rehydrate and serve it with something tasty!

I prepare it in two different ways, the first is the way I use if I have the oven on. This is the technique listed at the bottom of the page.

But I absolutely do not put the oven on just to cook couscous. So if I am cooking my harissa prawns for instance then I skip the oven bit.

I add the butter before I add in the water and then cover for 10 minutes and then fluff up.

The resulting dish is not quite as fluffy but you will be hard pushed to notice in a blind taste test!

My recipe calls for adding lots of herbs. This is not for colour but flavour so use lots and add whatever herb matches with your meal.

Portrait image of a vegetable tagine served on a white plate with herby buttered couscous
Vegetarian Mixed Vegetable Tagine.

Serving Suggestions?

Just like pasta this stuff is a vehicle for flavour!

In fact, that is not where the parallels end. It is nothing more than Durum wheat and wheat flour that has been moistened and rolled.

This would originally be done by hand!

It principally exists to take the flavours of a dish and spread them further!

I use it as a side in dishes like my Duck legs with tamarind and dates (pictured above).

It is also the perfect side for tagines this spiced rabbit tagine, classic Moroccan lamb tagine.

It is also particularly good as a base for a salad, this couscous salad is a great example.

Although I am so fond of it that I make a roasted vegetable couscous that I am more than happy to eat for lunch or supper!

Square image of a herby buttered couscous served with a lemon wedge
Yield: 2 Servings

Herby Buttered Couscous Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

The not so unsung hero of North African cuisine is buttered couscous, the perfect vehicle for delivering flavour and really simple to make too!


  • 150g (3/4 Cup) Couscous
  • 175ml (3/4 Cup) Boiling Water
  • Generous Pinch Salt
  • 30g (2 Tbsp) Butter
  • Lots of Chopped Herbs
  • Lemon Wedges to serve (optional)


  1. Place your couscous in a bowl.
  2. Season generously with salt.
  3. Pour over the boiling water.
  4. Cover with foil and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  5. Whilst this is sitting cut the butter into a 1cm dice.
  6. Remove the film, dot on the butter.
  7. Cover with wet scrunched up baking parchment and allow to sit in a warm oven for 10 minutes.
  8. Fork through and add lots of chopped herbs before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 176Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 155mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 3g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

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