When I was a child, I didn’t like eating broad bean couscous. I used to find it too bare, dry and boring. It lacked sauce, meat, vegetables, it lacked everything! And if the lben was missing too, I would go mental!
Now I am older and wiser. And when it’s too hot outside, I want my couscous with broad beans or petits pois, and served with a large glass of lben or Raib, please.
When I came across those fresh beans in the market last time, I knew they were waiting for me. More difficult would be to find lben (sour milk), because there aren’t so many North African products in London yet.
The closest you can get is the Turkish Ayran, but still not exactly the same taste.
So I thought, why not trying to make it myself, that shouldn’t be too hard?
For the couscous recipe, you can follow my mom’s. but you should know that it will never taste as good as her’s (whatever you do, you can’t beat my mom’s couscous; she makes the best in town!)
Home-made broad bean and lben couscous:
– 500g semolina
– 1 kg fresh broad beans
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tsp salt
– dried mint leaves
For the Lben:
– 1 pint wholemilk
– 1 tbsp plain yoghurt
For the home-made lben, it’s best to prepare it one day before.
In a sauce pan, gently heat the milk so it doesn’t boil. Add the yoghurt. Mix together then remove from the heat. Leave it for the night at room temperature.
The next day, you will see that the mixture has thickened! Put it in the fridge.
In a large bowl mix together the semolina, salt and olive oil with bare hands so the ingredients blend well. Then add small amounts of water to dampen up to a small glass. Rub consistently to break up lumps of couscous.
Get a couscous steamer put it to heat with the based half filled with water. Then pour the couscous in the steamer and place a lid on top. From the moment when steam starts to come out, leave on the hob for 15 minutes.
Then put back the couscous into the bowl and leave it to cool. Again, water it and stir through with bare hands.
Now let’s get on with the beans. Pod half of them and keep the beans. Slice up the other unpodded half. Place it all evenly in the steamer and cover with the couscous. Bring to the boil and countdown 15 minutes after steaming.
When cooked, place the couscous in a large plate and stir it some more. Drizzle a bit of dried mint leaves over the top.
For serving, accompany with lben, raib or greek yoghurt.