Pearl Couscous Recipe: An Extraordinary Mediterranean Dish

Imagine this – a warm, fragrant, and spicy bowl of Israeli couscous! Prepared with aromatic garam masala spice, toasty pine nuts and wholesome pearl couscous, this dish will transport your taste buds straight to the exotic Middle East. My Pearl (Israeli) Couscous With Garam Masala And Pine Nuts recipe is perfect for anyone who loves vibrant flavors and textures in their meals.

In the past, I’ve struggled to find the right way to present couscous as a sophisticated and gourmet ingredient. But with this recipe, I’ve found the perfect combination of robust spices and warming elements that elevate the dish to be an indulgent treat for any foodie.

Whether served as a side dish or enjoyed on its own for lunch, this recipe packs a punch of flavor while being super easy to prepare. You’ll be amazed how quickly you can whip up this delicious meal with just a few ingredients!

So, join me in experiencing the best of Israeli cuisine with my Pearl (Israeli) Couscous With Garam Masala And Pine Nuts recipe. Trust me; you won’t be disappointed!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Pearl (Israeli) Couscous With Garam Masala and Pine Nuts
Pearl (Israeli) Couscous With Garam Masala and Pine Nuts

Are you looking for a delicious, hearty and exotic meal? Look no further than my Pearl (Israeli) Couscous with Garam Masala and Pine Nuts recipe! This dish is sure to impress anyone who tries it.

Firstly, let’s talk about the star of the dish – Israeli couscous. This unique and versatile ingredient has a plump texture that sets it apart from regular couscous. It’s almost like tiny pearls that absorb every bit of flavor in the dish. Trust me, you won’t be able to stop eating this mouth-watering pearl couscous salad!

Now, let’s talk flavor. The spice-rubbed chicken with garam masala adds a smoky depth of flavor to this already amazing dish. And with just the added zest from lemon juice and sweetness from shredded carrot and shallot, your taste buds will be dancing with joy. Don’t forget the crunchy texture of toasted pine nuts that takes this recipe to another level!

And speaking of versatility – this recipe offers endless options for substitutions and variations depending on your mood, dietary restrictions or ingredients on hand. You can substitute chicken broth for vegetable broth or water if you’re following a vegetarian or vegan diet. Roasted veggies such as bell peppers or eggplants create an even richer experience, while some raisins could add a touch of sweetness.

All in all, with its balanced flavors and textures, gorgeous appearance, adaptability and simplicity to execute – this Pearl (Israeli) Couscous With Garam Masala and Pine Nuts Recipe is sure to have everyone asking for more. I guarantee this recipe will become your go-to side dish or even main course!

Ingredient List

“A burst of flavor in every bite – Israeli pearl couscous with garam masala and pine nuts”

Let’s start by taking a look at the ingredients you will need to make this delicious dish. Israeli couscous, also known as pearl couscous, is the star of the recipe. Other important ingredients include chicken broth to cook the couscous and garam masala, a warm spice blend that adds complexity and depth of flavor to the dish. Additionally, you’ll need pine nuts for crunch and nuttiness, carrot for sweetness and color, and shallot for its mild onion flavor. The recipe also calls for olive oil to sauté the vegetables and spices and lemon juice to brighten up the dish with acidity. Here’s a complete list of ingredients you will need:

  • 1 cup Israeli (pearl) couscous
  • 1¾ cups chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 shallot, peeled and minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and coarsely shredded
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

You can find most of these ingredients in your local supermarket or specialty food stores. Don’t worry if you can’t find garam masala; you can substitute it with curry powder or another warm spice blend of your choice.

The Recipe How-To

“Warm up your taste buds with a bowl of this fragrant couscous”

Prep the ingredients

Before starting the cooking process, it is important to gather and prep all the ingredients. Start by peeling and mincing one shallot. Then, peel and coarsely shred one carrot. Measure two tablespoons of pine nuts and two tablespoons of olive oil.

Cook the couscous

In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, add one tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the minced shallot until translucent. After that, stir in one cup of Israeli couscous and cook until lightly toasted, about 3-4 minutes.

Then, add 2 cups of chicken broth, 1 tablespoon of garam masala spice mix, and 1 bay leaf. Give everything a good stir to combine and bring it to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.

As soon as it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with a lid, and let it simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the couscous is tender but still has a bit of bite.

Once the couscous has finished cooking, discard the bay leaf and transfer the couscous onto a rimmed baking sheet to cool down to room temperature.

Toast the pine nuts

While waiting for the couscous to cool down, add two tablespoons of pine nuts into a small frying pan over medium heat. Toast them for around 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown.

Mix in the remaining ingredients

Transfer the cooled couscous into a large mixing bowl. Add in the toasted pine nuts, the coarsely shredded carrot, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Drizzle with additional olive oil if desired. Toss everything together until well-combined.

Finish by seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature as a side dish or main course salad.

Enjoy your delicious Pearl (Israeli) Couscous With Garam Masala and Pine Nuts!

Substitutions and Variations

“One-pot wonder: easy and flavorful Israeli couscous”

Variety is the spice of life. And when it comes to this pearl couscous recipe, there are several ways you can switch things up and add more flavor to the dish.

For starters, if you don’t have garam masala spice blend or prefer a different flavor profile, try other curry powders or seasonings such as cumin, coriander, or turmeric.

If you want to make a veggie-friendly version of this dish, substitute chicken broth with vegetable broth or water. You could also add chopped veggies like bell pepper, squash, or zucchini for extra texture and color.

For a protein-packed meal, try mixing in chickpeas or lentils. You could also top it off with grilled shrimp, sliced chicken breast or seared beef strips.

If you’re craving something sweet and savory, add cubes of roasted sweet potato or butternut squash. You could also sprinkle on some chopped dried apricots or dates for some fruity contrast.

Another variation is to toss the cooked couscous with baby spinach or arugula for a refreshing salad that’s perfect for lunch or light dinner.

No matter what variation you choose, remember that the possibilities are endless with this pearl couscous recipe. Use your imagination and experiment with different ingredients that match your taste buds.

Serving and Pairing

“Pine nuts add a satisfying crunch to this savory couscous dish”

When it comes to serving and pairing this pearl (Israeli) couscous with garam masala and pine nuts recipe, the options are endless. This dish is a perfect side dish that pairs well with a variety of meals.

One option is to serve it alongside some curried chicken or lamb backstrap for a flavorful and hearty meal. The spice rub on the chicken or lamb will complement the garam masala seasoning in the couscous.

For a vegetarian option, pair this couscous salad with roasted carrots and baby spinach. The sweetness of the carrots will balance out the spiciness of the couscous, while the baby spinach adds freshness and texture.

If you’re looking for something more traditional, serve this pearl couscous salad as a side dish for your next BBQ or picnic. It’s an excellent alternative to pasta salads, but just as easy to make.

For an extra touch of flavor, try drizzling some brown butter or lemon dressing over the couscous before serving. The taste of toasted butter or light lemon juice will bring out even more flavors from this already delicious dish.

Regardless of how you choose to serve it or what you choose to pair it with, this Israeli couscous recipe is sure to become a favorite staple in your kitchen.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“Get a taste of the Middle East with this hearty couscous recipe”

If you’re planning to make this dish ahead of time, it’s crucial to follow a few guidelines to ensure that it maintains its flavor and texture.

Firstly, the couscous can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. To avoid clumping, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the couscous before storing it.

Secondly, pine nuts can become rancid quickly, so it’s essential to store them correctly. Place them in an airtight container, and keep them in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

To reheat the couscous, gently heat it in a saucepan with a splash of chicken broth or water until warmed through. It’s important not to overheat it as this results in the grains becoming dry and rubbery.

I recommend adding fresh spinach leaves or roasted vegetables such as carrots, peppers, and onions when reheating to create a refreshing buddha bowl. Drizzle some lemon juice on top just before serving for an extra zing.

By following these simple steps, you can enjoy your delicious Pearl Couscous With Garam Masala and Pine Nuts any time you want without sacrificing the taste and texture.

Tips for Perfect Results

If you want to impress your guests with a delicious and aromatic pearl couscous salad, then these tips will help you get the perfect results. First of all, make sure to use Israeli couscous that is cooked to perfection. Overcooking it may result in mushy and clumpy grains that won’t absorb the flavors properly.

To prepare the couscous, start by sautéing minced shallots and shredded carrots in olive oil until they are softened and caramelized. This will add a sweet and nutty flavor to the dish while balancing out the spiciness of the garam masala.

When cooking the couscous, don’t be afraid to season the chicken broth generously with garam masala, coarse salt, and ground pepper before adding the couscous. This will infuse the grains with rich and complex flavors while keeping them well-seasoned throughout.

Once cooked, coat the couscous with a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice to add brightness and acidity. Toasted pine nuts can be added for an additional crunch and nuttiness to round out the dish.

For a more substantial meal, try serving this couscous salad alongside grilled or roasted lamb backstrap seasoned with garam masala or spice-rubbed chicken. Alternatively, it makes a great side dish for pasta or paired with a refreshing baby spinach and brown butter salad.

Finally, if you’re planning on making this salad ahead of time, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Just before serving, drizzle with roasted lemon dressing for an extra zesty kick. These tips will ensure that your Israeli pearl couscous recipe turns out perfectly every time!


As we wrap up this recipe article, I know you might still have some burning questions about this Israeli couscous dish with garam masala and pine nuts. Therefore, here are some frequently asked questions to help you navigate the recipe with confidence.

What spice is best for cous cous?

When it comes to enhancing the flavor of couscous, fresh herbs are a game-changer. Adding chopped coriander and parsley is the traditional way to go, but other soft leaves like basil and mint are worth experimenting with as well. Don’t hesitate to add a squeeze of lemon juice and some grated lemon rind for an extra zing to your couscous.

Is Israeli couscous and pearl couscous the same?

Pearl couscous, also referred to as Israeli couscous, is a classic dish created by toasting semolina flour into small, round-shaped grains.

What’s the difference between couscous and Israeli couscous?

The dish commonly known as Israeli couscous, is actually not a type of couscous but is essentially small pieces of toasted pasta, that was initially called p’titim, meaning “little crumbles” or “flakes” in Hebrew.

What is the difference between couscous and pearl couscous?

When it comes to preparing pearl couscous, unlike Moroccan couscous, one cannot simply add boiling water and call it a day. Pearl couscous requires simmering over heat for a longer duration to achieve the perfect balance of softness and firmness. It is crucial to keep it on the heat for an extended period to ensure the desired texture is reached.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Pearl (Israeli) Couscous with Garam Masala and Pine Nuts recipe is one that I am proud to present. The combination of the fluffy couscous with the heavenly aroma of the garam masala and roasted pine nuts is unmatched. With the extra tips and tricks provided, you can now cook up a perfect dish each time and deliver a memorable culinary experience to your guests.

I strongly recommend that you give this recipe a try, especially if you are looking to get creative in the kitchen. With its flexibility and versatility, it can be served as a side dish or even as a main dish with the addition of protein such as curried chicken or lamb backstrap. You can also make adjustments to suit your taste preferences by adding other vegetables such as roasted carrots or baby spinach.

In summary, the Israeli couscous garam masala pine nuts recipe is easy to follow and versatile in suiting various dietary needs without compromising on flavor. Even beginners can cook it up like a pro using the comprehensive tips presented in this article. Go ahead and take delight in preparing this couscous salad recipe for your loved ones; they will thank you.

Pearl (Israeli) Couscous With Garam Masala and Pine Nuts

Pearl (Israeli) Couscous With Garam Masala and Pine Nuts Recipe

Pearl (Israeli) couscous is more like barley in texture, and takes a little longer to cook. Look for it in the ethnic section, or in the pasta section of larger supermarkets. Try to find the "instant" kind, that cooks it 10 minutes. If you can't find it, you may have to add more liquid and cook longer. This one has a touch of East Indian spices. Good with grilled salmon or pork tenderloin. There are as many variations of Garam Masala (spice mix) as there are cooks :). I like mine with a tad more cinnamon than some. There are several recipes here on 'Zaar, or you can buy it in specialty shops or larger supermarkets.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Calories 274.4 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, peeled and minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and coarsely shredded
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup israeli couscous


  • Heat a medium skillet over med-high heat and add pine nuts. Swirl in pan until they begin to brown. BE CAREFUL NOT TO BURN.
  • Set aside to cool.
  • In a heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and saute shallot and carrot for 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice and garam masala.
  • Add broth to pan and bring to a boil. Stir in couscous. Reduce heat and cover pan. Simmer 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.
  • Put in serving bowl and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 170gCalories: 274.4kcalCarbohydrates: 37.2gProtein: 7.9gFat: 10.4gSaturated Fat: 1.3gSodium: 249.1mgFiber: 2.8gSugar: 1.3g
Keyword < 30 Mins, African, Asian, European, Grains, Indian, Low Cholesterol
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