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Taste some of the Middle East flavors with this Pearl Couscous Recipe

If you have never heard of the names Pearl Couscous, Ptitim, Israeli Couscous, or Ben-Gurion rice, this is the right moment for you to learn about this fantastic food.

Pearl Couscous is a wheat pasta that uses durum wheat for its preparation. It’s something in the middle between small pasta and bulgur. Its appearance is similar to that of large rice grains, but it differs from ordinary pasta in processing technology, as well as in its unusual shape.

Are Ptitim and Traditional Couscous the same?

Many people think that Pearl Couscous is a variant of couscous. In fact, they are two completely different products.

  • The dough for traditional couscous is made with the best flour and can be given any shape: stars, shells, and various other forms.
  • The classic Pearl Couscous is shaped like small pills, about 5 mm in diameter.
  • Israeli Couscous is available in different colors and dyes, which are especially popular with children.
  • It can be used in the same way as ordinary pasta, for cooking soups, side dishes, and sausages.

Learn about pearl couscous history

Pearl couscous is new but is not yet used by most people. However, it appeared in Israel in the middle of the last century when the country was facing a shortage of food products. In those years, many people from nearby countries immigrated to Israel, and the shortage was more notorious.

Rice was not growing in Israel, and it was a staple in their daily diet. That’s why The Prime Minister ordered the development of a pasta-based food that would resemble rice in appearance and taste.

At first, pearl couscous grains were oblong and had a rough, hard taste. Later, the shape was changed, so that the taste was considerably milder. Today the new product is served as a garnish in cafés in many countries around the world. It is also used as a base for a wide variety of dishes.

Pearl Couscous’ flavor

The taste of the product is similar to the taste of classic pasta. However, the unusual nutty notes give it a special uniqueness. The fact is that pearl couscous is roasted in special ovens, which gives it a special taste, texture, and shade.

When you eat it, you notice the starch and a little sweetness. Some people can taste the flavor of the bread.

How to serve Israeli couscous?

This rice-shaped pasta can be cooked and eaten with all kinds of ingredients. It goes very well with mushrooms, chicken, cheese, and vegetables.

  • A cream sauce is a perfect accompaniment to the dish.
  • Often pearl couscous is used in stuffed peppers or pilaf.
  • When boiled, it can also be used as a garnish for a mixed vegetable or light soup for those who want to eat a healthy, dietary diet.
  • Interestingly, in some countries pearl couscous is part of fitness people’s diet.
  • In general, Ptitim can be eaten with any meat, and vegetables like zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, onions, garlic, chicken, and mushrooms.
  • Any sauce can be used as a complement.
  • This pasta also goes well with seafood: shrimp, and squid.

For more ways to eat pearl couscous, go to riceselect.com/product/riceselect-pearl-couscous

Easy and quick Pearl Couscous Recipe

The easiest and quickest way to enjoy this pasta is in a salad.


  • Couscous
  • Sprouted lentils (optional)
  • Arugula
  • Olive oil
  • Sweet paprika
  • Turmeric
  • Raw almonds
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Mint (optional)
  • Eggplant
  • Red bell pepper
  • Purple onion
  • Garlic
  • Avocado oil
  • Thyme


  1. Dice the vegetables and bake them with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, or on a piece of parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  2. Hydrate the couscous with the same volume of warm water for 5 minutes.
  3. If you are using olive oil, you can choose to hydrate the couscous in a marinade of olive oil and lemon juice for five minutes, and then add the mixture to the salad.
  4. Slice the cherry tomatoes and sauté them face down.
  5. Toast the almonds if you have them raw.
  6. Chop the mint and arugula.
  7. Then, remove the vegetables from the oven and assemble them. Use a large bowl and mix with the rest of the ingredients, except the grilled tomatoes. If using lentil sprouts, mix them in as well.
  8. Serve with the grilled tomatoes on top.