I discovered Attieke Cassava Couscous ($3.99) at an African market in Atlanta called Gold Coast. It’s a staple all over West Africa including Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Congo. The brand pictured, Nayama is from Ivory Coast. It looks almost identical to regular wheat based couscous and when hydrated grows to a similar size. Attieke is fermented cassava, as such it does have a mildly sour smell which disappears when cooked. It’s a gluten free food and is labeled so.
Many like to add lemon to regular couscous. Do not add that to attieke. Because it’s fermented it already has a natural lemony, slightly sour taste which works deliciously with basic seasoning. Since it was new to me I only threw in salt, pepper and garlic. To add color and texture I threw in veggies and chickpeas. The recipe below if skipping the stew is gluten free and vegan.
The overall flavor is great, maybe even better than wheat based couscous. See below for cooking instructions. In the next post, I’ll write about the traditional chicken stew, called kidjenou often eaten with it in Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire). Have you tried this food before? What did you think? What did you eat with it?
5 oz Attieke Couscous ~ 150 grams (Roughly half the box)
2 stalks green / spring onions, chopped
½ onion, chopped
1 plum tomato, chopped
1/3 bell pepper, diced
1 small carrot, grated
1.5 cups (12oz) chickpeas, drained
4 cloves garlic, chopped
salt to taste
pepper to taste
The box has instructions for microwave (mine is kaput) or steamed (don’t have a steamer). In searching around I found that it can be prepared with boiled water. Per this link, the ratio should be 2:1 water to attieke. The water was brought to a boil, shutoff, then the grain was added and covered. I kept it covered for about 10 minutes.
In a separate pan, add oil and all ingredients except attieke. Cook on medium low for 5-7 minutes until onions begin to turn translucent. Now mix in couscous until the ratio looks good.