Moghrabieh aka pearl couscous is a Lebanese street food; I wish you could all experience the good food found there! It is enjoyed in several ways, here is my mother’s version; she would cook this for the whole family to enjoy and fill the house with the lovely aromatics that are released.
Moghrabieh is from the Arabic word Maghreb which translate to “West” which is where couscous originated from – Africa.
This dish originally contains animal protein; I have converted it to allow for a plant based/vegan diet. I am delighted to say, it still tastes amazing. I especially love eating Mograbieh with freshly cut tomato and cucumber. You could pair it with your favourite garden salad.
What is pearl couscous?
Pearl couscous (Mograbieh) is a type of pasta. It is made from durum wheat, which is rolled into little balls. It is easily found in continental stores as the dry variety. I’ve yet to see the fresh variety in Sydney, Australia. Have you come across this?
Tips for making Mograbieh
- They key to this dish is for it not to be dry; hence in the recipe I have stated – use the amount you require of equal parts olive oil and plant based spread. Start with enough to coat your onions and then add more as you need
- All spice is a great option if you can’t get a hold of Lebanese seven (7) spice
- Dry chick pea is preferred, but I was short on time, I used canned chickpeas (Edgell – Made in Australia) and as always save the brine (aquafaba) so many uses for this amazing water, e.g., Vegan Meringue with Rose Water
Lebanese Pearl Couscous (Mograbieh)
- 500 g Dry moghrabieh aka pearl couscous
- 275 g Small onions (I used French shallot) peeled and left whole
- 1 can Chickpeas dry chickpea is fine
- 1.5 tbsp Caraway seeds
- 1 tbsp Ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp Lebanese 7 spice allspice is a great alternative
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 pinch Seasoning to taste
- 1 Olive oil and plant spread (50:50 ratio) as needed
- Peel onions and set aside
- Wash chickpeas thoroughly and allow to drain, set aside
- In a tall pot cook Moghrabieh (pearl couscous) in boiling salt water for about 10/15min (or until cooked) stir occasionally to avoid moghrabieh sticking. Set aside.
- In a tall pot over med/high; heat add in olive oil & plant spread, once melted add in onion and fry until translucent (tender cooked and brown)
- Add in chickpea and 1/2 of the spices. Coat everything evenly
- Add in Moghrabieh (pearl couscous) and the rest of the spices, coat evenly. If dry add in more oil/plant spread.
- Serve hot/warm with a side 🥒 cucumber and tomato 🍅 or salad