Corn is a very relevant crop in Brazilian agriculture and culture in general. Not only is it significant for our exports, but it is also part of people’s daily routine. That is why, instead of wheat, Brazilians use corn as the basis for their typical couscous.
But this is not the only difference. The preparation techniques are also different. Brazilian couscous is made with flaked, pre-cooked flour. It is mixed with water and then steamed in a specific pan called “cuscuzeira.” One can also find other versions prepared in the microwave and frying pans, as we show in this video on our social networks.
Brazilian couscous is typical of the Northeast Region and is a substantial and nutritious option, especially for breakfast. However, one can also find the dish as part of lunch and dinner. It all depends on creativity and the ingredients available.
For breakfast, the most common recipe includes cheese stuffing and a teaspoon of butter on top of it. In some regions, people mix couscous and milk for a bowl of healthy morning cereal. The tastiest recipes may include smoked sausage, dried meat, scrambled eggs, or vegetables.
The recipes are so versatile that in some regions one can also find sweet versions of couscous prepared with coconut milk, grated coconut, and even sweetened condensed milk. How about starting with the couscous base? Just follow the recipe below:
2 cups of flaked cornmeal
½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup of water
50g of butter
- In a bowl, mix corn flour and salt. Slowly add water, stirring it with a spoon to moisten the flour—the texture should be like wet sand. Let it hydrate for 10 minutes; this way, the flakes will be softer when steam cooking.
- Fill the bottom of the couscous pan with water and fit the steam basket into the pan. Pour the hydrated cornmeal into the basket, but don’t compress it. Cover it and bring it to high heat.
- As soon as it starts boiling, light steam will come from the side of the lid. Lower the heat and cook it for 10 minutes until the couscous becomes very soft. Check when you open the lid: the couscous should be puffy and soft to the touch.
- Place it into a bowl and add butter to taste.
For preparing a microwave version, transfer the previously moisten couscous to a microwaveable container and cover it with a flat plate. The couscous will be ready in 3 minutes.