Easy Israeli Couscous with Roasted Peanuts. Ready in 10 minutes.

by Sala @ Veggie Belly on July 21, 2010

I am blessed to I have friends whom Ive known since childhood. These are the people I can be myself with and I know will support me through anything.

One such friend is Vidya. As children, Vidya and I hung out in each others’ houses all the time. We’ve shared much, and had a lot of fun together. And through the years, no matter where in this world we were, we’ve kept the close friendship going.

A few winters ago, Vidya drove up from North Carolina to visit me. She came bearing a tub of marinated olives and a delicious merlot. We sat in my kitchen late that night, talking, eating, drinking and watching the snow fall. We were warmed by friendship and wine.

Vidya then made us a midnight snack – Israeli couscous with cumin and roasted peanuts. We chatted and sipped wine as Vidya cooked the nutty, chewy, cumin scented dish. There we were, old friends, in the middle of a winter’s night; cooking, laughing and enjoying the sisterhood of a 20 year old friendship.

Thankyou Vidya, for so much more than just this recipe.

Vidya’s recipe for israeli or pearl couscous is a shortcut version of Indian sabudana or sago kichdi. The traditional recipe uses sabudana (tapioca pearls). But I like Vidya’s version with israeli couscous, its easy to make and you really cant mess it up. This is a great, 10 minute vegan snack or side dish.

Israeli couscous, also called pearl couscous or mograbiah or ptitim is a type of pasta from the Levant region. If you dont have pearl couscous on hand, sustitute with cooked orzo or tapioca pearls.

Check out this curried Israeli couscous (mograbieh) recipe on gourmet sleuth. Vegan Yum Yum has a simple, vegan recipe for lemon pearl couscous.

But its this  couscous and mograbhia (israeli couscous) recipe on Dana Treat that really reminded me that I havent made this israeli couscous recipe in a while. Dana said she has a big load of israeli couscous and is always looking for recipes. Dana, this is for you :)  

I use 1/2 cup peanuts in this recipe, which is on the peanutty side. Thats how I like it. If you feel this is too much, reduce the amout of peanuts to upto 1/4 cup.

Israeli Couscous (Pearl Couscous or Mograbiah) with Roasted Peanuts Recipe

serves about 4 as a side

for the couscous

1 tablespoon oil
1 cup israeli couscous or pearl couscous, uncooked

for sauteing

1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
a few curry leaves, optional
2 green or dried red chillies (or according to taste), chopped. Use jalapenos instead if you dont want it too spicy.
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, crushed lightly (this will be on the peanutty side, reduce the amount of peanuts if you wish)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
salt

Heat oil in a large non stick skillet. Add couscous. Stir the couscous on low heat till it turns color and becomes light brown. Add 2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover the skillet and simmer till all the water is absorbed, 5-7 minutes. Couscous should not be mushy. 

While, couscous is cooking, take a wok, heat the oil and add cumin seeds. When they start to sizzle, add the curry leaves, and green or red chillies and cook for about 15 seconds. Add the cooked israeli couscous, peanuts, lemon juice and salt. Stir well. Turn off heat. Adjust lemon juice according to taste. Add cilantro. Serve warm.

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Comments

comments

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa July 21, 2010 at 5:43 am

That is an interesting combination! Your couscaous looks yummy. I really have to buy Israeli couscous soon…

Cheers,

Rosa

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2 Manasi July 21, 2010 at 10:09 am

There is something so heartwarming about old friends. makes u glow with warmth! I am so happy u have such a good friend! Long may ur friendship last.
The 1st. thing that came to my mind was Israeli ‘sabudana khichadi’!! hehehe!
I love this version. Will try it soon.
As usual, awesome pics.

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3 pavithra July 21, 2010 at 10:30 am

Wow this is nice idea of making the couscous like sabudana way…yummy!!! will surely give it a shot. As usual all the pictures are gorgeous. Especially the left hand side of second picture ..I really liked it a lot.

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4 Swathi July 21, 2010 at 11:13 am

Sala,

Today i learned about israeli couscous, i need to try this.Look similar to our sago. Nice clicks too.

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5 Rashmi July 21, 2010 at 11:27 am

What an awesome substitute for sabudana! Will look out for Israeli Couscous

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6 Happy Cook July 21, 2010 at 11:37 am

Wowo 20 yrs off beeing friends, i don’t have any friends like that. Really something to cherish.
I didn’t know aobut Israli couscous, sounds and looks yumm.

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7 Prerna July 21, 2010 at 11:38 am

I’ve made sabudana khichdi all my life but never tried it with Israeli couscous. Problem with sabudana is that most of the times it turns out perfect but sometimes specially when you have guests then its screwed.
Will definitely try it with the couscous.

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

Exactly! I love sabudana, but sometimes it will get mushy. Israeli couscous instead of sabudana or sago kichdi is fail proof!

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8 Cumin Coriander July 21, 2010 at 12:12 pm

What a wonderful story. It looks very similar to sabudana kichadi. Love the recipe. Will try it and let you know.

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9 Vijitha July 21, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Hi Sala
Awesome pics!
yeah I know, friends from childhood are so special and that bonding is too hard to express in words. Yummy couscous and loved the interesting combination

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10 Katies Cooking July 21, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Your pictures are beautiful! I love israeli couscous but have only used pinenuts or slivered almonds before. This looks delicious though, keep up the good work!

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11 Xiaolu (6 Bittersweets) July 21, 2010 at 1:39 pm

This looks divine, Sala. And it warms my heart to hear of such a dear friendship. My own best friend is in London right now and I miss her company a lot.

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12 Dana July 21, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Oh, you are such a doll! I can’t wait to make this – maybe with a side of tofu or tempeh? I have got to get my hands on some curry leaves because I’m sure they are tremendous in this dish. Thank you so much for putting this up!

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13 Trudy ~ veggie num num July 21, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Yum, the combination of flavours and as always your pictures are just beautiful. Israeli couscous is hard to find where I live at the moment but I sure hope to try this delicious looking recipe soon!

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14 Sara! July 21, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Yum! My favorite snack made gorgeous by your camera! Love it..
Olives, merlot, Crackers and Brie with fig spread, perfect spread for a perfect friend! :)
To 20 years and more cheers!

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15 Preeti July 21, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Wow nice one…. looks exactly like Sabudana Khichadi:)

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16 sweetlife July 21, 2010 at 7:59 pm

great recipe, your photos are goregous….

sweetlife

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17 sangeeta July 22, 2010 at 2:44 am

Meeting old friends and cooking fuss free recipes and warming up like this is so nostalgia inducing…..

I make sago khichdi n have perfected it over time , this pearl couscous looks wonderful …i do such things with the common daliya n that has been a popular thing with my friends over here.

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18 Padhu July 22, 2010 at 2:44 am

Photos look great!! Recipe sounds interesting

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19 NeenaJ July 22, 2010 at 7:17 am

Sala,

I’ve just recently discovered your blog and it is blowing my mind (and tastebuds)! I’ve already made your Grandmother’s Vegetable Raita and it was delicious. Can’t wait to try this.

I have one question though, for you or your followers: Can I generally substitute chili sauce or Sambal Oelek when a recipe calls for dried chilis?

Thanks so much!

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

Thankyou NeenaJ! Isnt my grandmoms vegetable raita the best?!

Yes, you can use sambal oelek or chili sauce instead of dried red chilis. But remember that any sauce you use will add a little more moisture as compared to dried chillies. You also dont want to cook chili sauce or sambal oelek too much.

Another substitute for dried red chilis is crushed red pepper flakes (i save up the ones from take out pizza!)

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20 pam July 22, 2010 at 11:12 am

That looks so good. I love your website! Where can I find curry leaves? Did you mean fresh curry leaves? Is there a substitute I can use, like curry powder? Thanks for sharing!

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

Pam, yes, I meant fresh curry leaves.

Depending on where you live, you will get fresh curry leaves at Indian stores and Asian stores.

There really is no substitute. There is a BIG difference in taste between curry leaf and curry powder (which is powdered whole spices)!

If you cant find curry leaves, just omit them from the recipe :)

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21 aipi July 22, 2010 at 11:13 am

awesome recipe n stunning pics.. loving your space here :-) .. thanks 4 dropping by my blog n the lovely words .. do keep in touch.

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22 Divya Vikram July 22, 2010 at 1:45 pm

You have amazing pictures here! Thanks for your fridge pic! So unique shot :)

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23 Leah McClellan July 22, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Sala,

I just have to say thank you for answering a prayer–sort of. I am a very busy vegetarian/near vegan who just doesn’t take the time to cook or prepare much very often these days, and I just don’t eat as well as I’d like. I have a shelf of cookbooks but I find your recipes so simple and easy that I know I’m going to make something one of these days. I love your photos and your whole blog is very inspiring. I just saw your recipe for seitan something-or-other and I’ll definitely try it–all I do with seitan is soak it in some bottled sauce and fry it up for a snack lol I’ve been so uninspired for years and just have to do something different. I am so tired of my usual stir fries and tofu and salads and Italian dishes with so much pasta and so on.

Thanks!

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24 Sree July 22, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Hi ,Thanks alot for ur sweet comments.U got a great blog,Mind blowing pics.glad to following u:)btw. great recipe.

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25 Deanna July 30, 2010 at 5:57 am

Yum! I want to try this with some gluten-free couscous or the tapioca pearls. Simple and delicious is exactly how I like my food!

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26 Sra July 31, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Isn’t it great fun and great luck to be in touch with friends from long ago and have a shared history? It’s reinforced to me every time I meet them and in the last two years, I’ve been lucky to discover some whom I hadn’t been in touch with.

Your pix are gorgeous. Does this taste like lime rice, a bit?

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

No, it doesnt taste like lime/lemon rice at all!

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27 Beth February 24, 2011 at 9:55 am

I have a big box of israeli couscous in my pantry and went on tastespotting this morning to find a way to prepare it tonight–I can’t wait!!! My family loves peanuts and cumin and I just know this is going to be a huge hit. Thanks!

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28 Priya January 20, 2012 at 10:41 pm

I love sabudana khicidi , but I didn’t get the right variety in the Indian store.
Then I saw this recipe immediately went for shopping and made it for dinner.
Huge hit in my house , will not search for sabudana anymore. Thank you so much .
Keep the good work sala

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

thats awesome! im happy the israeli couscous worked out for you as a substitute to sabudana! i made this for lunch just yesterday :)

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