Power of couscous

Power of couscous

Power of couscous

You must have noticed gourmet chefs of popular cookery shows on TV churn out a delectable dish, in a jiffy, using a kind of semolina (rava) called couscous. Originating from North Africa, couscous is basically wheat-based ground pasta, and forms a staple for many of their recipes.

Couscous is made from scratch by rolling broken durum wheat in wheat flour. This process coats the semolina and forms small globules of the wheat. The semolina is first moistened and then rolled in flour to form the tiny balls. Then, it is aired and stored. Though plain flour and barley couscous are also available, the wheat-based product is more popular. Now, couscous is made in a mechanised way and available in many supermarkets.

Couscous is commonly used as a salad, in patties and stews. Couscous is always steamed and never cooked, as it already contains moisture and is soft. Combining it with fresh vegetables, tofu, paneer or cheese with a dash of lemon juice gives a mild, tasty and nutritious dish which can be prepared in no time.

Couscous is highly nutritious and is a rich source of selenium — nearly 60% of the daily requirement by the body. Selenium is a heart-healthy nutrient and helps in controlling LDL cholesterol, thereby keeping atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in the arteries which lead to blocks), heart attacks and strokes under check. Due to its natural antioxidant properties, selenium is also being researched as an anti-cancer agent and couscous shows promising result as a general preventive food.

A serving of couscous contains nearly 26% proteins. This, along with selenium helps build muscle mass, strengthening and healing wounds. In addition, couscous contains fair amount of potassium which regulates the fluid content in the body. It is rich in fibre to aid digestion, prevent constipation and help manage weight. Other trace minerals found are magnesium, copper, manganese and phosphorous.

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