Mild coconut milk lends its muted flavor and viscosity to this version, which is a perfect accompaniment to main courses featuring Asian, Latin or tropical ingredients.

Serves 4


  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 1 3/4 cups light coconut milk (one 13.5-ounce can)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 10 grinds fresh black pepper (about 1/8 tsp.)
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


Heat a medium-deep sauté pan, covered with a lid, over medium-high heat.

Add the couscous and toast it for 3 to 4 minutes, until it turns golden and smells like baking bread.

Add the coconut milk, water, salt, pepper and cayenne. Bring the liquid to a gentle boil, cover the pan and decrease the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, until the couscous is tender and creamy and the liquid has been mostly absorbed.

Stir in the cilantro, adjust the seasoning to taste and serve immediately.

From Choosing Sides: From Holidays to Every Day, 130 Delicious Recipes to Make the Meal, by Tara Mataraza Desmond (Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC).

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