Food from around the world, perfect for belly dancers.

Food For Belly Dancers: Saffron Couscous Recipe

Food lore

A prized spice for over 5,000 years, saffron has been used in the Middle East to flavor food with its delicate aroma. However, even more significant are healing properties associated with saffron as an herbal medicine.

Saffron is:

  • An antioxidant—it neutralizes free radicals and is a good friend of anti-aging fans.
  • An anti-depressant—it rebalances mood swings.
  • An anti-carcinogenic—it inhibits tumor production.
  • A carminative— it suppresses flatulence, pairing well with bean and lentil dishes.
  • Good for respiratory diseases such as coughs and colds, asthma and pneumonia.
  • An aphrodisiac.

middle eastern food, recipies, istanbuls spice bazaar.

Our basic couscous laced with saffron is a dream to make. Couscous is also known as "maftoul" in the Middle East. Serve it with lamb stew, goulash or any hearty dish that needs a lighter complementary side.



Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes


  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous
  • 2 cups chicken/veggie stock or water
  • ¼ cup green onion, chopped
  • 6-8 strands saffron
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ tsp sea salt


  1. Bring the stock or water to boil.
  2. Add couscous and remaining ingredients. Stir and mix well.
  3. Cover with a tight-fitting lid.
  4. Turn off the heat and allow to steam cook about 10 minutes till couscous is fluffy.

Extras: Adding shrimp or leftovers enhances the flavor. Simply add them at step 2.
Serve couscous or maftoul with golden raisins, cashews, fresh cilantro and parsley.