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Saykouk (Couscous with Buttermilk)

Saykouk (Couscous with Buttermilk)

I am a bit hesitant to even call this a recipe because it’s so simple. The first time I saw this was when I was having lunch with my husbands’ family. All of the vegetables and meat from the couscous had been eaten but there was still couscous grains left in the plate.

Couscous is typically served with buttermilk or lben to drink. Suffice to say having never had buttermilk in my life it was a new taste that took many, many years to acquire. When the meal was finished my mother in law used her spoon to scoop up some of the grains that were left and put them into the cup.

I thought that she was just clearing the plate to discard everything but then she ate it. That’s when I had my first lesson on saykouk.

After this I learned about the saykouk man in the street. It’s common in Marrakech (and I’m sure other cities as well) to see usually an older man on a pedal bicycle with two jugs slung over the back wheels. In one jug is buttermilk, and in the other couscous. You can buy it by the bowl and it’s usually cheap – like 5dh a bowl. That being said. I’ve never tried street saykouk because of questionable hygiene.

The good news is, it’s ridiculously easy to try. It’s literally buttermilk + couscous. You can decide if you want it to be thicker or thinner based on how much you add to your cup or bowl. Personally I prefer the milk to be really cold and the couscous cold as well.

The next time you make a couscous, don’t forget to get some lben (or buttermilk) and try this as your treat at the end!

Need a couscous recipe? Click the link and you’ll find mine + answers to all your couscous questions!

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