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Taboule - cold north african semolina salad

Taboule - cold, refreshing salad
Taboule - cold, refreshing salad
During the time I was living and working in France, I was experiencing the wines and the cuisine of France on numerous occasions. But it is indeed a very strange coincidence that, among all those dishes, I learned to know and to love a North African dish that I haven’t even eaten when I was living in North Africa before. No, I had to travel to France first in order to get to know this dish. But once tried, I was immediately falling in love with the Taboule, a cold salad made out of Semolina.

For those of you who don’t know it either, let me quickly cite Wikipedia for the entry about Semolina: “Semolina is the coarse, purified wheat middlings of durum wheat used in making pasta, breakfast cereals, puddings and couscous. Semolina is also used to designate coarse middlings from other varieties of wheat, and from other grains such as rice and corn.” If you have a well sorted supermarket somewhere near, maybe they have got it under the name of Couscous (maybe I will cook this at another time), which also is made of semolina.

Anyhow, the dish is a very refreshing and ridiculous easy to prepare summer dish. The most difficult part about it is to cut the veggies in pieces. So, without any further ado, let me introduce to you my version of this salad (mind you, there is quite a few different versions around).

  • 250 g Couscous (instant)
  • 1/4 liter chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 bunch of parsley
  • 1 onion
  • 2 - 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 tomatoes
  • A few fresh mint leaves

Heat up the chicken stock till is boiling. Put the instant couscous in a large bowl. Pour the boiling chicken stock over the instant couscous, cover the bowl up and put it aside for 5 minutes. Then you pour the lemon juice over it and stir it up.

Clean, peal, wash and cut the onions, bell pepper, tomatoes, cucumber and herbs. Put everything together in the bowl of the couscous and drizzle the olive oil on top. Now stir everything well through, put it aside in the fridge for an hour or two until it’s nice and cold.

It’s a great salad and / or side dish recipe so it’s recommended for a BBQ or a picnic; I like to make it as a real refreshing summer dish. Sometimes I add Tuna or deep fried chicken breast pieces to the salad to make it a heartier dish.


  1. One of my favorite... though I add some spices on the dressing mix... and sometimes add the roasted nuts or seeds.

    1. Actually, you are right. Too keep it real, add some raisins, that's what they do a lot with their food. Precooked raisins are used especially when you make couscous, don't want to exclude that here. Nuts? Hmmm you give me an idea what to do with the pound of walnuts we recently bought. Even I want to keep a few for some more bread making experiments...