Israeli Couscous Recipe | Ptitim
Have you evert tried Israeli couscous? Despite the name in English, it is not a type of couscous. In Hebrew it's called ptitim (flakes) and basically, it's toasted pasta in tiny balls. The origin of ptitim is in Israel in the 1950s when rice was scarce due to austerity in Israel. There are many ways to cook Israeli couscous (pearl couscous), but in this recipe I am showing to you the classic way, ptitim with red sauce.
- 1-2 tablespoons Oil
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 2 cup Israeli couscous (ptitim)
- 1 tablespoon Tomato paste
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- 2½ cups (600ml) Water, boiling
- In a pot, heat the oil, when hot, add chopped onion and cook until lightly golden, about 5 minutes.
- Add the Israeli couscous, tomato paste, salt, pepper, paprika and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes.
- Add water, stir and cover. Reduce the heat to low, cook for about 6-8 minutes (read package instructions). Turn the heat off, stir, then cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Frequently asked questions:
WHAT IS ISRAELI COUSCOUS?
Israeli couscous (in Hebrew: ptitim) also known as giant couscous or pearl couscous is a kind of toasted pasta made by machine. Despite the name in English, it is not a type of couscous. Israeli couscous is usually made of flour.
Ptitim was created in 1953 during the austerity period in Israel. David Ben-Gurion (Israel's first prime minister), asked Eugen Proper, one of the founders of the Osem food company, to devise a wheat-based substitute for rice. The company took up the challenge and developed ptitim, which is made of hard wheat flour and toasted in an oven. Ptitim was initially produced with a rice-shape, but after its success Osem also began to produce a ball-shaped variety inspired by couscous. Consequently, ptitim is sometimes called "Ben-Gurion rice".
WHAT YOU CAN MAKE WITH ISRAELI COUSCOUS?
Except the traditional way of cooking ptitim and serving them like rice, it also possible to make salads with ptitim, ptitim with vegetables and even risotto.