Lessons In Cooking Couscous (Burabisko)
As a Southern Nigerian and an Igbo girl if we want to get specific, the concept of food considered to have come from Ugwu Hausa (Hausa land) has never occurred to me. Don’t get me wrong, I eat tomatoes, peppers, carrots, cucumbers, beets etc cultivated up north. But the urge to try an Hausa dish has never made a blip on my food radar. And I consider myself adventurous when it comes to food.
All that changed with a slip of hand at the supermarket where I was looking for a new kind of pasta to try and my hand landed on Couscous. Couscous is called Burabisko (Burabisco) in the northern part of Nigeria. It is made from corn/wheat grits. So, I decided to give Burabisko a try in the spirit of adventure. The recipe I came up with is an adaption of my Teriyaki stir fry.
1 cup of Couscous (200 ml cup)
1 medium green pepper
1 medium red pepper
1 medium yellow pepper
1 cup of broccoli
2 small carrots (shaved into strips)
Some beef sausages
Garlic and ginger (minced)
Small bunch of spring onions (green onions)
3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and ground black pepper.
Wash and cut all the peppers and spring onions. Cut up the sausages into little round shapes. Wash and cut or shave the carrots into strips.
Add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil to 2 cups of water. Add your Couscous to the boiled water and leave it to absorb the water. Once the Couscous is soft, that means it’s cooked.
Grease your frying pan with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the minced garlic and ginger. Then add the peppers and broccoli. Stir for a minute. Add the chopped sausages. Stir for another minute. Add the spring onions and carrot strips.
Season with some salt and black pepper. Allow the mixture to steam for 2–3 minutes. Add the already cooked Couscous into the pan and stir till everything is properly mixed. Then serve.
This dish surprised me. It reminded me that one should always try new things and also to explore outside our cultural comfort zones. To think an Igbo girl would find comfort in Hausa food, there is hope for Nigeria yet.