Kyle Bailey's Couscous from Scratch

Kyle Bailey's Couscous from Scratch

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4
Active time:25 minutes
Total time:40 minutes
Special equipment:sifter
This recipe appears in: Behind the Scenes: Making Couscous from Scratch at Birch And Barley in D.C.


  • 1 quart semolina
  • 1 pint water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt to season


  1. 1

    In a large bowl, add a cup of semolina, a pinch of salt and a few drops of water. Mix with fingertips in circular motion until small balls form. Drizzle more water as necessary.

  2. 2

    Move the mixture to tamis (or drum sifter or similar fine mesh sifting device) to remove the fine semolina.

  3. 3

    Reserve the larger couscous to another bowl.

  4. 4

    Add the fine semolina dust back to the mixing bowl and repeat step 1 until there's no semolina left.

  5. 5

    Pick out the large pieces. In a couscousier (or steamer basket) fitted with cheesecloth, add 1 cinnamon stick, 2 bay leaves and 2 tbsp salt to the water. Bring to boil.

  6. 6

    Steam couscous for 5 to 10 mins.

  7. 7

    Season with olive oil and steam for 5 to 10 more minutes. Serve immediately.


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