The Great Oatmeal Switch-a-ma-call-it: Kesksou Seffa (Sweet Couscous)

Keska

From what I’ve found in reading various posts, breakfast in Morocco can be a hobbit-like ordeal (you know, First Breakfast and Second Breakfast…).  The first course may be mint green tea with lots of sugar and some sort of bread/jam event, followed up by more bread, cereal, coffee or pastries a few hours later.  While I love to find alternatives to my Sunday morning peanut-butter-and-chocolate-chip- pancake ritual, I feel like I’ve done a lot of bread-y breakfast things lately, so I’m instead offering up a hot breakfast cereal alternative, quick enough to make and light enough for daily consumption.
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Growing up, I used to hate oatmeal.  I’m not sure what it was:  the texture, the non-taste.  I liked every other kind of hot cereal mom made: grits, cream of wheat, wheatena…but not oatmeal.  It wasn’t until I was about 25 and Avocado suggested I try eating it with a little bit of Coffeemate flavored creamer that I became an addict, and I’ve had it at least four days a week for breakfast since (I don’t advocate using Coffeemate, really. It’s just chemicals.  But it really is soooo good!).  Anyway, as for my oats, I try mix it up, sometimes adding cocoa, peanut butter, shredded carrots (carrot cake anyone?) and and any kind of nut I have on hand: almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios…you get the idea.  Therefore, when I read about using couscous as a “hot cereal” alternative, I figured, what the heck.
Kesksou seffa is couscous, but made sweet rather than savory.  It can be eaten as a snack, dessert or breakfast, and I’m going with the last alternative.  Just like regular oats, it can be jazzed up with any variety of dried fruits (raisins, dates, currents), any sort of extract (vanilla, orange flower, rose water) or even some yogurt.  It’s a blank slate, so use your imagination and give it a try!
Serves 4-6
Ingredients
1 1/4 cup medium grain couscous
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1-2 TB sugar
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 TB butter, melted
3/4 cup pistachios
2-3 TB dried fruit (I used apricots since I had some left over from my lamb)
1 cup milk
4 TB honey
Directions
1.  Put the couscous in a heatproof bowl and add the cinnamon, cloves and sugar.  Pour in the boiling water and let sit for 15 minutes.
2.  Aerate the couscous with a fork.
3.  In another pan, toast the pistachios in a skillet until you smell the nutty aroma. Make sure you don’t burn the nuts!
4.  Add the fruit and nuts to the couscous. Drizzle the butter over everything.
5.  Heat up the milk and pour over the couscous in each bowl. Drizzle honey over the top. Serve warm.  Carry on with your day.
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Happy Coffee, Happy Cereal, Happy Tummy
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