Aghmoudh: Kabyle couscous with steamed beans

Another comforting classic from Kabylie, the heartland of Algerian vegetarian recipes. This one couldn’t be easier!


  • 2 cups of couscous
  • 1 cup of broad beans (fresh, frozen or dried and soaked)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt


  1. Spread the couscous in a flat dish and add a teaspoon of salt and one cup of cold water. Mix everything together and allow the water to be absorbed.
  2. Take a couscous steamer and bring water to the boil in the bottom half, taking care that it doesn’t boil up and touch the steamer section.
  3. Place the damp couscous in the top half of the steamer and set it over the boiling water. Note when the steam starts to filter through the couscous and cook for 15 minutes from this point on.
  4. Remove the couscous from the steamer and tip it onto a tray, spreading it out and breaking up any lumps.
  5. When the couscous has cooled slightly, add another glass of water. Then oil your hands with olive oil and rub the couscous grains between your hands to break up any lumps and separate each grain.
  6. Repeat steps 3 to 6. (We like to keep a kettle boiling to top up the water if necessary!)
  7. When you remove the couscous for the second time, place the broad beans in the steamer and place over the boiling water to steam for 15 minutes.
  8. Finally, put the couscous back in the steamer on top of the beans for a final re-heating and wait until the steam starts to show through.
  9. Mix the beans and couscous and drizzle with an extra glug of olive oil for luck before serving.

If you pop the broad beans out of their shells after steaming they taste even sweeter and bring a lovely colourful touch to the final dish.