Couscous is made from Durum wheat semolina grains. The traditional North African dish known as couscous was originally made by hand. Large grains of semolina were prepared in several steps by dampening smaller grains of semolina with water and working them between the hands to break up clumps into smaller and smaller granules until finally being ready to cook. This is a very time consuming process. (Small amounts of flour and salt may also be added as the grains are worked by hand).
Commercially made couscous does the above described hand processes by machine - what you buy is at the stage that is ready to cook.
As you can see, couscous is similar to a pasta, but isn't really - it is not made from a milled (ground) flour, but from the unmilled grains of semolina.
Couscous is sometimes considered a grain since it is actually 'grains' of semolina.
Couscous is also the name for the prepared dish of couscous cooked with meat or vegetables.
Couscous is also the name for other similarly prepared dishes made from other grains such as barley, millet, sorghum, rice or maize (corn).
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