Cuscus from CaboVerde
|Me in CapeVerde|
In CapeVerde just like in any other Country there are many traditional dishes such as 2 of the main ones. Cuscus - a breakfast bread and Cachupa- a heavy soup for lunch. These are 2 of my favorite Capeverdian foods along with others such as funginho, gigacida, and the list goes on.
Cuscus is a breakfast food. For those of you who don't know what it is, its similar to a corn muffin or a corn type of bread. It is made fresh and eaten whilst hot off of the stove spread with loads of butter to melt nicely on top. I love eating this with my favorite rasberry tea. Some of you might hate it whilst others love it. It all depends on your taste buds. But I absolutely love it. Just last week alone I made it about 4 times kkkkkkk.....
Try it for yourself. Its really different and you just might end up liking it.
A few pointers before you start:
Buy a cv21 or 8"plant pot and place a tiny cloth on the bottom of it just to cover up the whole in the center of your pot. Optionally - you can choose to make more smaller holes with a drill all around the big hole. Just to ensure it cooks quicker with the steam.
Seperatley either get a big can that can easily fit the plant pot or a pot that allows the plant pot to sit on top of it without touching the bottom. This will be like a double boiler (because couscous cooks with only steam. You cannot allow the water to touch it at all or it will become mush,your best bet is to get a huge can. I bought mine at a local grocery store and it had vegetables inside. I took the vegetables out and used the can itself)
36 oz extra fine corn meal
8 oz precooked cornmeal
13 oz sugar
4 tsp cinnamon
3 cups water
Take all of your ingredients and put them all together into a big bowl and with your hands mix it all well, until all incorporated and starting to all stick together. Once that is done.Take a strainer and run the entire mixture through it Sifting all of your mixed mixture directly into the plant pot.
Take your empty can and fill it half way with water. Sit your plant pot on top of the can and cover all around the edges with your left over cuscus mix to ensure no steam comes out. Cover your aluminum with a small cloth and pot lid. Being very sure to not let any steam out. Then turn on your fire to medium heat and allow it to cook for about 20 minutes or until you smell the cuscus very fragrantly.
|How to arrange it|
Once that is done. simply flip your cuscus over onto a plate and slices like a cake, adding loads of butter to every slice.mmmmmmm..... so yummy especially with a warm cup of tea.
|Your finished product|
From my kitchen to yours.
if you have any questions about this or anything else email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is an important question that I was asked about this dish so I decided to add it to help you in your preparation of it.
Wow, what a peculiar dish and a peculiar way to make it.It's really nice that I'm getting to learn how to make food from other cultures. I will definitely try it!
My questions is: is this a normal can that one finds canned food in? And is it safe to put it on the stove? Also, will the water not try to escape from the can because you have completely sealed the can with only escape to the pot or is that the purpose?
Yes it is a really big can. A regular one that has food inside. They sell them in some stores with potatoes, vegetables, fruit or something like that inside. You just need to empty it out and wash it. Yes it is safe to use those cans because you will not be placing any foods inside of it only the water to create steam.
As you notice on the directions I mentioned that you can make additional holes on the bottom of your plant pot to ensure a faster cooking time. But any plant pot already naturally comes with a big hole in the center of the bottom. So what happens is we put the can of water to boil with this plant pot on top and we cover all the sides to not allow steam to escape. But there is a hole on the bottom of the plant pot allowing all of the steam to go into the plant pot and actually cook the cuscus. So the steam is not trapped in there. That would be dangerous. It comes out through the little hole in the plant pot and goes into cooking the cornmeal. Just be really careful with the can itself because since it is metal it does get hot. So make sure to use a towel or something when you pick it up and put it down somewhere and of course be extra careful because you are dealing with hot water.