This simple vegetarian recipe was donated by my husband Mo, and is eaten in Algeria when the ‘ful’ (broad beans) and ‘djalbana’ (peas) are harvested.
This is a fabulous dish if you are a legume lover. I’m sure it could be adapted with mange tout and other beans but I would be breaking cultural copyright laws!
Ingredients for Masfouf – Couscous with Broad Beans and Peas Recipe
The quantities are a bit approximate for this – as it tends to change on what ratio beans to peas you have…
- 500g of medium or fine couscous. Don’t skimp on a cheap brand as it turns to mush.
- 250g of fresh broad beans. If the bean pods are new and soft, slice into 2cm chunks. If the skins are tough and stringy then shell them and use the bean.
- 250g of fresh shelled peas.
- Extra virgin olive oil.
- Salt and pepper.
- Yoghurt and milk in equal quantity for the Raib.
Method for Masfouf – Couscous with Broad Beans and Peas Recipe
- Put the dry couscous in a large bowl and pour in cold water to a level of 2cm above the couscous. Cover with tea towel and leave for a few minutes to swell. Meanwhile lightly steam the peas and beans – do not overcook.
- Stir the couscous with a fork to separate the grains and then add bit more water and cover again for a few minutes. The trick with good couscous is not to add too much water or it ends up like semolina. North Africans do not pour boiling water onto their couscous like re-hydrating pot noodle! Try to keep the grains separate.
- Steam the couscous for 15 minutes until light and fluffy. Return the couscous to the bowl and stir in the steamed peas and beans. Add a generous glug of olive oil some salt and stir until the legumes are well mixed.
- Serve hot in a shallow dish or plate. Some of the beans can be used to decorate the top of the pile of couscous.
- To make the Raib, mix equal quantities of milk and plain yoghurt and liquidise or shake vigorously. Serve cold in a glass to accompany the meal.