Kuski Fawar (Couscous with Greens)

Since this type of couscous tends to be slightly dry, you may want to serve it the traditional way, with glasses of buttermilk. 

Kuski Fawar (Couscous with Greens)
Photo: © Kathrin Koschitzki


  • 1/2 pound dill and fennel or anise leaves

  • 1/2 pound parsley

  • Handful of celery leaves

  • Handful of carrot tops

  • 1/2 pound scallions and leeks

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2 tablespoons crushed garlic

  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika

  • 2 teaspoons salt, or more to taste

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander or tabil

  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway

  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes, preferably Aleppo, Turkish or Near East pepper

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 1/2 cups (about 1 pound) medium grain couscous

  • 1 fresh green chile, stemmed, seeded and minced

  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into sixths

  • 6 whole garlic cloves, peeled

  • Buttermilk, for serving


  1. Wash the dill, fennel, parsley, celery leaves and carrot tops under running water. Drain and roughly chop. Wash and chop the scallions and leeks. Fill the bottom of a couscous cooker with water and bring to a boil. Fasten on the perforated top; add greens, scallions and leeks. Steam, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, uncovered. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the greens dry and set aside.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a 10- or 12-inch skillet. Add the onion, and cook 2 to 3 minutes to soften. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the paste glistens. Add the crushed garlic, paprika, salt, coriander or tabil, caraway and red pepper flakes and cook slowly until well blended. Add 1 cup water, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

  3. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the dry until well blended. Stir in the steamed greens whole, leeks and scallions and mix well. Fold in the green chile, red bell pepper and garlic cloves. Fill the bottom of the couscous cooker with water and bring to a boil. Fasten on the perforated top, add the contents of the skillet and steam, covered, for 30 minutes.

  4. Turn the couscous out onto a large, warmed serving dish. Use a long fork to break up lumps; fish out the whole garlic cloves and red pepper slices, reserving them. Stir 1 cup water into the couscous, taste for seasoning and cover with foil. Set it in a warm place for 10 minutes before serving.

  5. Decorate the couscous with the red pepper slices in a star pattern and place the whole garlic cloves on top. Serve with glasses of buttermilk.


A couscoussière is a two-part pot that steams couscous over a pot of bubbling stew. You can rig one up by placing a colander over a large pot. If you can't find a lid that closes tightly over the colander, lay a piece of cheesecloth over the couscous and under the lid to help trap the steam.

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