1

I used to work in an office by a restaurant that served red ptitim - Israeli-style pearl couscous, today are cooked in some sort of tomato sauce and come out red tainted - but not wet: i.e they're not swimming in sauce: they're served just sightly moist like any other ptitim dish.

I tried to reproduce this at home by cooking the ptitim in tomato juice, tomato paste and even ketchup - but to no avail: they either come out in a lot of sauce or properly dry and not red.

What am I missing?

1
  • 1
    Could be red pepper paste instead. – FuzzyChef Oct 25 '19 at 23:35
1

I've never cooked ptitim specifically, but for Mediterranean[1] rice, bulgar, orzo or cous cous, the recipe varies only slightly - so I imaging ptitim to be very similar.

Use a ratio of 1:1.6 grain to water, by volume.

You can add optional onion/peppers etc to this. Soften first, remove & re-add just before the water, or part-soften, leave in, then proceed as follows

Sauté the grains in olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat until they start to change colour [not just clarify because of the oil, actually start to go golden].
Add approx 1tbsp per cup of grain of either tomato purée/paste, harissa paste[2] or any combination of both, then continue to sauté for another 2 minutes. Sautéing tomato paste makes it sweeter & less bitter.
Add your water, straight off the boil from a kettle.
Salt to taste.
Give it a quick stir, drop the heat to minimum & put the lid on.
Allow 13-15 minutes for the water to be absorbed. Don't take the lid off to check. At most, lift it a tiny bit & see if you can hear the crackle as the last bit is used.
Switch off the heat.
Put a tea-towel or paper towel over the pan top & put the lid back on over it, trapping the towel.
Allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
Fluff with a fork & serve.

Brighten the flavour & presentation with some fresh flat-leaf parsley.
Sprinkle Aleppo pepper flakes for an extra burst of colour, heat & flavour.

[1]Generally, anywhere from Greece right round to Morocco uses a variation on this method.
[2] Both will add a similar colour, but tomato adds sweetness & harissa adds spicy heat.

3
  • Ok, so if I understand correctly, what I was missing was to put in the tomato paste during the sauteing part and not during the cooking part? – Guss Oct 26 '19 at 7:40
  • Possibly so. Sautéing the grain is also important, though - it changes how it reacts with the water somehow & keeps everything separate & nicely glistening at the end, rather than dull & clumped. – Tetsujin Oct 26 '19 at 7:50
  • 1
    Yep, I have been doing that, but I only added the tomatoes during the cooking part. I will try that, thanks! – Guss Oct 26 '19 at 7:56
0

Maybe it was chili oil and not tomato-based? That was always my impression at Sosta in Raleigh, but just a guess!

1
  • In my case it was definitely tomato based and not spicy, but using chili oil is something I'd need to try - thanks :-) – Guss May 3 '20 at 12:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.