Maftoul Mediterranean Salad (Palestinian Couscous Salad)

The May Daring Cooks' Challenge was hosted by the incomparable Sawsan from chef in disguise. Sawsan challenged us to try our hands (literally!) at making maftoul - hand- rolled Palestinian couscous that is as versatile as it is tasty!

Making maftoul from scratch is like playing with your food and ending up with a delicacy. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and will be making this again. Everyone in the family loved it. Leftovers were willingly packed for lunch the next day.

I followed the given recipe exactly. The instructions provided by Sawsan were very good and easy to follow. The only change I made was to half the recipe. I quickly found a rhythm in the moistening and mixing of flour in the making of the maftoul that worked with my untrained hands. I realized I was not very deft at mixing in the water so I used just about a tablespoon of water at a time. That allowed me to get the developing maftoul moist without clumping.

You will need
For the maftoul
1/2 cup fine bulgur
1 tbsp. salt
1-2 cups water
1 1/2 cups whole what flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Spice mixture to cook the maftoul
1/2 stick cinnamon (I used the stronger Indian variety)
3-4 pods cardamom
2 bay leaves

For the salad
2 cups maftoul (all the maftoul made from the recipe above)
1/2 cup black olives, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
2/3 cup Greek feta cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
2-4 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. dried oregano

Combine the all purpose flour and whole wheat flour in a bowl. Dissolve the salt in the water in a separate container. Put the bulgur in a flat big rimmed plate.

Add a couple tablespoons water to moisten the bulgur. Sprinkle a couple tablespoon flour over the bulgur and using your fingertips swirl in a circular motion to get the flour to attach to the bulgur.

Repeat until the bulgur grows to the desired size.

The next step is to steam the maftoul in a couscous pot. I don't have a couscous pot but I have a steamer attachment on my rice cooker.

Add the cinnamon, bay leaf and cardamon to the steamer water. Steam the maftoul uncovered for 15 minutes. During this time add a little warm water to the matfoul and turn it over to allow the top layer to come in contact with the hot steam. When done the color will change to golden.

Transfer the cooked maftoul to a bowl and mix in a little olive oil. Let it cool.

Meanwhile slice the pitted olives, cherry tomatoes and cilantro.

Sprinkle it over the cooled maftoul. Crumble feta cheese over the top along with dried oregano, lime juice and salt. Mix it all together.



  1. You did a wonderful job with this challenge and I have to say that for someone who tries Maftoul for the first time you did an amazing job at it
    Thank you so much for taking part in this challenge and I am really glad you enjoyed it

  2. Your challenge looks beautiful.


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