Cuscuz paulista (“Paulista” Couscous)

Cuscuz paulista (“Paulista” Couscous)

“Cuscuz” is a North African dish. It arrived in Brazil from Portugal and has changed significantly, becoming very different from the original dish. There are a lot of regional variations – using fish, poultry, pork and vegetables – served either as appetizers or as a main dish, accompanied with white rice.
The “cuscuz” should be cooked in a “couscous pan” (food steamer), but you can prepare it in a 2 litre ring shaped mold or in smaller pudding molds for individual servings.

• 200 g sweet pepper
• 250 g carrots
• 100 g onions
• 1 garlic clove
• 50 ml olive oil
• 175 g tomato purée
• 80 g pitted black olives
• canned mackerel or sardines, approximately 240 g
• 60 g fresh or frozen peas
• 175 g precooked corn flour
• 175 g toasted manioc flour
• 3 hard-boiled eggs
• chopped parsley
• 2 – 3 mature tomatoes
• salt and black pepper

Preparation method

  1. Grease the ring shaped mold with corn oil and distribute inside the mold, on the bottom and sides, the tomatoes (cut into about 8 slices), the sliced hard-boiled eggs, the olives, green peas and canned sardine fillets, for decoration.
  2. Finely chop the sweet peppers, the carrots, onions and garlic and sauté them in oil until well soft.
  3. Add the tomato purée, olives, sardines with their own oil, green peas and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat, add the already blended flours, the chopped parsley and the remaining hard-boiled eggs cubes.
  5. Adjust salt and black pepper.
  6. Carefully pour mixture into the mold and press down to compact.
  7. Cover and cook in a bain-marie for about 45 minutes, until the mixture starts to pull away from the sides.
  8. Unmold when still hot taking care not to spoil the decoration.

Variation: you can replace sardines with prawns and/or sliced palm heart.

Yield: 6 – 8 servings.

Posted on: 11 November 2011