Couscous Paneer Salad with Lemon Dressing

by Helene Dsouza on April 6, 2014

When the days turn into an endless torture, when the sun is hitting beyond crazy and when you turn into a steaming dumpling, that’s when you know you didn’t escape the Indian summer heat! So what does one do in this case, besides complaining endlessly that it is hot and draining? You help yourself with digestible food treats, right? What would be better then something cooling for your stomach but also something nutritious so that you still have enough energy to master your busy days. That’s when salads proof to be useful and a blessing. Anyway, I noticed that I hadn’t posted my couscous paneer salad with lemon dressing so this is the right time for a informal food introduction.

Couscous Paneer Salad with Lemon Dressing www.masalaherb.com

I grew up eating couscous and I think so for a while I was the only one in primary school who did so. Couscous is a traditional north African/Mediterranean side dish and since some of the former french colonies were situated in north Africa, the humble couscous dish found a place in the french  foodie hearts. Couscous, small semolina granules, can be counted as a very popular side dish in France and in the past 20 years it has gained  favor amongst the rest of the world.

There are two types of couscous, the north African fine granules and the way larger Israeli Couscous granules. I have never tasted or tried to cook with the Israeli version since it’s not that common in Europe so I can’t tell you anything about this one. In India you can get hold of the fine north African couscous variation. However it’s a bit over prized in India, which I feel shouldn’t be the case since Couscous is just durum semolina rolled into granules.

If Couscous picks up in popularity in India, as it did in other countries in the past decade and I am predicting just that, then it will eventually be produced in the Indian subcontinent, resulting in a decrease of price. Many non traditional Indian food items have gone through a similar process, so it’s just a matter of time and eventually India will stop secluding itself. We can see this already, Indians are eager to learn new things, to try and take the plunge and live a bit more.

Couscous is versatile and nutritious. I often compare it to rice. Just imagine the countless rice dish variations in this world, the same can be done with couscous. So that means, it’s just not only a plain boring side dish, no, it can also be turned into exciting stand alone dishes and also sweet flavorful desserts.

Today I am just going to do this by introducing you to a new concept of using commonly available Indian ingredients with couscous. Obviously the recipe better be killer or I wouldn’t take the trouble clicking nice pictures to tempt you. It’s a quick and easy recipe perfect during long hot summer days. The Couscous Paneer Salad with lemon dressing can be cooled in the fridge before you indulge it, at least that’s what i do these days.

Couscous Paneer Salad with Lemon Dressing www.masalaherb.com

During the not so humid period in Goa I tend to buy couscous in the stores here. During the monsoon I will only buy it from a store here which has an Air Cooling system, simply because I have been disappointed by some couscous packages in the past. You see, couscous can get quickly moldy if it isn’t stored properly and my experience is that some shops don’t bother to refund your whole 450 INR, except Orchard stores in Goa (not Oxford!). Luckily you can always buy it online too via Zanzaar for example. Also some brands have a properly vacuum sealed packaging which may reduce the mold danger.

I feel if you can afford Couscous then go for it. It’s a great change from our common rice and bread diet and a diet with various food ingredients can only benefit your health in the long run. Also couscous tastes great and you can use it in so many ways and I will certainly post more couscous recipes here in the future.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Couscous Paneer Salad with Lemon Dressing
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
Cuisine: Fusion
Serves: 2
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
For the Salad
  • 2 medium sized Garlic pods chopped
  • 2 Tablespoon Olive Oil (1+1 Tablespoon)
  • 1 green Chilli chopped
  • 300 milliliter Water
  • 1 Lime
  • pinch Salt
  • pinch Pepper
  • 100 grams Couscous
  • 1 small Tomato (50 grams)
  • 1 small Cucumber (50 grams)
  • 60 grams Paneer
  • Coriander to garnish
For the Dressing:
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • pinch Salt
  • pinch Pepper
Instructions
  1. Add the chopped garlic and chili together with 1 tablespoon olive oil to a pot and stir fry for a minute or two. Squeeze out the juice form your lime and keep the juice aside for later use. Add the water, lime halves, salt and pepper to the pot and bring to a boil. Couscous Paneer Salad with Lemon Dressing www.masalaherb.com
  2. Take the pot from the heat and add the couscous. Stir a bit, cover and let sit for 10 minutes at least. The couscous will soak up the water. Couscous Paneer Salad with Lemon Dressing www.masalaherb.com
  3. Rinse and cut your tomato and cucumber into small cubes. Keep aside.
  4. Cut your paneer into small cubes too. Heat up a non stick frying pan with the remaining one tablespoon olive oil and fry your paneer golden on the sides. Couscous Paneer Salad with Lemon Dressing www.masalaherb.com
  5. Once your couscous has completely soaked up the water, pick out and discard the lime halves and fluff the couscous with a fork. Couscous Paneer Salad with Lemon Dressing www.masalaherb.com
  6. Add the tomato, cucumber and paneer to the couscous and mix well. Garnish with fresh coriander.
  7. For the dressing mix all ingredients well and cover the salad with it.
  8. Best served cooled.

Couscous Paneer Salad with Lemon Dressing www.masalaherb.com

Share on Facebook8Tweet about this on Twitter46Share on Google+140Pin on Pinterest16Share on StumbleUpon0Buffer this pageEmail this to someone
Share with the world!

You might like...

The following two tabs change content below.
I am Helene, the author behind Masala Herb! My aim is to show you an incredible world full of surprises. Food, Culture and Travel are my forte and that's what I enjoy. Follow my Food and Travel adventures and learn some incredible things! Now in the beautifull Indian coastline state, Goa.

Latest posts by Helene Dsouza (see all)

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Angie@Angie's Recipes

A satisfying and nutritious salad, Helene. Sweet flavourful desserts made with couscous sound really intriguing.
Angie@Angie’s Recipes recently posted..Vegan Gluten Free Black Bean BrowniesMy Profile

Reply

John@Kitchen Riffs

Couscous is such good stuff, isn’t it? And you’re right that it works extremely well in a salad — great rice substitute. Love the flavors in this! Light and refreshing, but most of all really tasty. Really nice — thanks.
John@Kitchen Riffs recently posted..The Twentieth Century CocktailMy Profile

Reply

Rosa

A scrumptious couscous! That combo is wonderful. I really have to buy some paneer (I’ve found a store that sells it)…

Cheers,

Rosa

Reply

Choc Chip Uru

Your couscous looks so refreshing, what a delicious looking recipe :D

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Reply

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

I like couscous if it’s got stuff in it but plain couscous doesn’t do it for me. I would love this couscous recipe!
Maureen | Orgasmic Chef recently posted..The IGA Creative Kitchen Challenge – Week 1My Profile

Reply

Minnie@thelady8home

Couscous is a relatively new ingredient in the Indian subcontinent, but I have no doubt it will catch up very soon. Light and refreshing, this couscous paneer salad looks beautiful.
Minnie@thelady8home recently posted..Fish in Kashundi – a mustard relish from BengalMy Profile

Reply

Eva Taylor

Couscous is pretty inexpensive in Canada, even so I did buy some when we were in Morocco a few years ago. Combining couscous with paneer is rather clever and the lemony dressing sounds delicious.
Eva Taylor recently posted..A new Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche with WW pointsMy Profile

Reply

wok with ray

I love couscous and I love the simplicity of your dressing. Have a good weekend, Helene!
wok with ray recently posted..Samalamig and GulamanMy Profile

Reply

Purabi Naha | Cosmopolitan Currymania

Helene, this is a wonderful couscous recipe. Just perfect for the summers, this salad with paneer is just perfect for my palate. Beautiful clicks!

Reply

easyfoodsmith

The paneer in couscous is really interesting and I am going to try this for sure. The lemon dressing sounds perfect with it.
easyfoodsmith recently posted..DOI MAACH (FISH IN YOGURT CURRY)My Profile

Reply

Ramona

Now that’s one beautiful and hearty salad! :) Love the addition of the paneer. :)
Ramona recently posted..Sri Lankan Lunu Miris (Chili and Onion Sambol)My Profile

Reply

Kitchen Belleicious

i cook with couscous all of the time and just love it. I need to try that dressing over it thought. it sounds delicious
Kitchen Belleicious recently posted..Simple Garlic Oil & Crushed Red Pepper Capellini with Grilled ShrimpMy Profile

Reply

Leave a Comment

Rate this recipe:  

Current ye@r *

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: