When I visited Istanbul, a few years ago, I absolutely fell in love with all the pilaf-style recipes. The rice version of the pilaf is well known in Turkey, but it is also incredibly common to see this dish prepared, whether in restaurants or in homes, with bulgur and couscous. Today I was recalling those memories from my trip to Turkey, so I decided to post the delicious recipe for couscous pilaf, using some whole-wheat eco couscous from Biocop, something that I usually always have around the house. It’s also suitable for vegans, by the way.
Pilaf is a staple of Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, and in Turkey it can be both a side dish or a main course. It is frequently served with meat (especially lamb or chicken), vegetables or nuts, and it can be cooked with a delicious broth. If it’s the main course, it usually comes with salad and the ever-present yogurt sauce.
The best part of the pilaf for many Turks is the “tahdig”. In Spain we have the socarrat, the browned, crusty layer of rice that forms on the bottom of the paella. I remember that in many places I was asked if I wanted my pilaf with tahdig.
With or without tahdig, people love pilaf because it’s delicious, but also because it is so easy and quick to prepare.
INGREDIENTS for two people
160 gr whole-wheat couscous from Biocop
400 ml vegetable broth from Biocop
60 gr round green beans
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Half white onion
One garlic clove
Half a pomegranate
Handful of hazelnuts
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 2 teaspoons of cumin
Finely chop the garlic and the onion. Sauté them in some olive oil, in a casserole over medium heat, until the onion becomes translucent. Now, add the couscous and the cumin, stir for a couple of minutes and add the vegetable broth until it covers the couscous. Season with salt and pepper, cover with lid and let it cook for about 7 minutes over medium-low heat.
Remove the seeds from the pomegranate and the stems from the coriander. Wash the green beans, cut them in small pieces and cook them for about 5 minutes in a saucepan with a little salt. Put them in a bowl with very cold water to stop the cooking process. Dry them.
When the couscous absorbs all the water, add the pomegranate seeds, the green beans and the hazelnuts and mix well. Serve and sprinkle some coriander over it and add a little olive oil.