If there is a Middle Eastern soup that has healing properties, Maftoul would fit the bill. From the silky protein of the meats to the aromatic garlic and onion, to the unique blend of spices and wholesome couscous, a bowl of this goodness makes winter much more bearable. Maftoul is the Arabic word for couscous, but this couscous in particular is larger grained that the average one you will find in a box in most grocery stores. Your best bet is to go to your local Middle Eastern market and ask for maftoul, which is like a larger hand-rolled pasta that stands up to soup better than the small grained traditional couscous. What’s great about this type of couscous is that it has more bite, almost like a pasta, and does a great job of absorbing flavors. My mom made this soup whenever I had a cold, and I would instantly feel better after a bowl or two. The tomato really adds a different kick, and you can easily add other chopped up vegetables to the broth if you want to get creative. One important note is that not all Maftoul is the same. Most ask for one part couscous to two parts liquid, but depending on the brand, you might need more liquid for cooking time. Check out my video demonstration on how to make this classic Middle Eastern favorite!
For the recipe directions, click on the video below:
INGREDIENTS (INSTRUCTIONS IN VIDEO ABOVE)
- 2 pounds of dark meat chicken (you can use all drumsticks or a combination of drumsticks and thighs)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large fresh tomato, pureed
- 1 tbs. whole allspice berries
- 1 large minced onion
- 5 cloves of garlic each one sliced in half
- 1/2 can of tomato paste
- 1 cup of canned garbanzo beans (optional)
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp allspice
- 2 tbs. butter
- 2 cups of Maftoul (in Middle Eastern markets—can substitute traditional couscous as well)
6 thoughts on “Maftoul–the best couscous you’ll ever try!”
Thanks Blanche, this was fabulous! We just had it for dinner. Yummy! I can see why it is considered comfort food for when you are not feeling so well. We didn’t see a printed recipe, so we just followed your lead from the video. EXCELLENT! Looking forward to trying more of your delicious food from the website!!
So glad you enjoyed it Richard! I try my best to put in as much info and demonstration in the videos so you won’t even need the recipe 🙂 Thanks for your support!
Hello! Trying this tonight.. do you not use salt? And can you use olive oil instead of butter?
I use about 1 to 2 tsp of salt for the whole thing, but of course you can adjust to your taste. You can use olive oil, but be careful as the maftoul can burn–butter has a lower smoke point ensuring even cooking, and a wonderful flavor of course. A little goes a long way. Hope you enjoy it!
Love your recipes! I was wondering, when and where to put the pureed tomato?
Thanks Regina! Generally I like to add the pureed tomato after about 30 minutes of simmering the broth, then a simmer at least 30 minutes more.