Couscous in Delco

Chicken couscous with vegetables, from Argana. (CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer)
Chicken couscous with vegetables, from Argana. (CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer)
Posted: November 08, 2012

The more ubiquitous instant couscous becomes, the more the genuine version of this tiny semolina pasta is misunderstood. But once you taste the real thing - moistened and rubbed with oil and butter by hand, then steamed in a couscousière double-boiler over an aromatic pot of stew - you can begin to taste the more profound flavors of North Africa. And that is exactly what you get with this hearty chicken and vegetable couscous at Argana, the diner-turned-Moroccan soul-fooder in suddenly cosmopolitan downtown Lansdowne.

Argana, opened seven months ago by engineer Zouhir Oullaf, serves a familiar menu of Moroccan hits, from hearty harira lentil-chickpea soup to lamb chunks stewed with prunes for a tagine. This couscous, though, was my favorite here, with gingery, turmeric-tinged meat, stewed turnips, carrots, and seasonal squash, too. It's even better with a requested extra side of stew-juice to keep it moist.

- Craig LaBan

Chicken couscous with vegetables, $11.95, Argana, 2 North Lansdowne Ave., Lansdowne, 484-461-9595; arganarestaurant.com

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