Mesfouf, also known as sweet couscous in some regions, is a traditional Algerian salad made with fine couscous, chickpeas, and a variety of vegetables. This wholesome dish is rich in flavors and nutrients, offering a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins. Mesfouf has deep historical roots, tracing back to the Maghreb region, and is influenced by Mediterranean and Arabic culinary traditions. It's perfect for vegetarians and provides a delicious and healthy meal option. Learn how to prepare this beloved Algerian dish and discover its cultural significance and nutritional benefits.


For the couscous:

  • 2 cups fine couscous
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the chickpeas:

  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the vegetables:

  • 2 cups mixed vegetables (carrots, zucchini, bell peppers, etc.), diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For garnish:

  • Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • Lemon wedges


Prepare the Couscous:

1- Place the couscous in a large bowl.

2- Mix the hot water, olive oil, and salt in a separate bowl.

3- Pour the hot water mixture over the couscous, cover, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork when it's done.

Prepare the Chickpeas:

1- In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.

2- Add the chickpeas, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper.

3- Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the chickpeas are heated through and well-coated with spices. Set aside.

Prepare the Vegetables:

1- In another skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.

2- Add the mixed vegetables and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until they become tender.

3- Stir in the ground coriander, ground caraway, salt, and pepper.

Assemble the Mesfouf:

1- In a large serving platter, spread the steamed couscous evenly.

2- Arrange the sautéed vegetables and seasoned chickpeas on top of the couscous.

Garnish and Serve:

1- Garnish the Mesfouf with freshly chopped cilantro or parsley.

2- Serve with lemon wedges on the side to add a tangy kick to your dish.

Mesfouf is typically served family-style, where everyone can dig in and enjoy the flavorful combination of couscous, vegetables, and chickpeas. It's a hearty and satisfying Algerian dish that's perfect for sharing with loved ones. Enjoy!

Nutritional Values

Here are the approximate nutritional values for the main ingredients used in the Algerian Mesfouf recipe. Keep in mind that these values can vary depending on factors like portion sizes and specific brands of ingredients:

Couscous (per 1 cup, cooked):

  • Calories: 176
  • Carbohydrates: 37 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Fat: 0.3 grams
  • Fiber: 2.2 grams


  • Fine couscous: Provides carbohydrates, fiber, and some protein. It's a good source of energy and can aid in digestion.
  • Hot water: Helps to hydrate the couscous and soften it for a fluffy texture.
  • Olive oil: Adds healthy fats, antioxidants, and flavor to the couscous dish.
  • Salt: Enhances the flavor of the couscous and helps to balance its taste.

Chickpeas (per 1 cup, canned, drained):

  • Calories: 269
  • Carbohydrates: 45 grams
  • Protein: 15 grams
  • Fat: 4 grams
  • Fiber: 12 grams


  • Chickpeas: High in protein, fiber, and several vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and folate. They contribute to satiety and may help in weight management.
  • Olive oil: Provides healthy fats and adds richness to the chickpeas.
  • Ground cumin: Adds a warm, earthy flavor and may aid digestion and improve blood sugar control.
  • Paprika: Offers a mild heat and a rich flavor while providing antioxidants and some vitamins.
  • Salt and pepper: Enhance the taste of the chickpeas and balance their flavor profile.

Mixed Vegetables (per 1 cup, mixed, cooked):

  • Calories: Approximately 45-60 (varies based on types of vegetables used)
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 10-15 grams (varies)
  • Protein: Approximately 1-3 grams (varies)
  • Fat: Approximately 0.5-1 gram (varies)
  • Fiber: Approximately 2-4 grams (varies)


  • Mixed vegetables (carrots, zucchini, bell peppers, etc.): Offer a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They add color, flavor, and texture to the dish and contribute to overall health.
  • Olive oil: Provides healthy fats and helps in cooking the vegetables evenly.
  • Ground coriander: Adds a citrusy, floral flavor and may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Ground caraway: Adds a slightly nutty, earthy flavor and may aid digestion and relieve gas.
  • Salt and pepper: Enhance the taste of the vegetables and balance their flavor.

These values are approximate and can change depending on the specific vegetables you use in your Mesfouf. Additionally, the nutritional values can vary based on the cooking methods and the amount of oil and spices used.

Please note that these values are for the main ingredients without taking into account the olive oil and the spices. If you're looking for precise nutritional information for your specific recipe, it's a good idea to use a nutritional calculator or a food scale to determine the exact values for your portion sizes and ingredient brands.


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