A pilau is properly made with rice, and I had originally intended to make this a rice dish. Wife Jan though that rice would take too long to cook. Israeli couscous was invented as a rice substitute when the fledgling state of Israel could not import as much rice as people wanted. This could therefore be called “Israeli pilau.”
Karl’s Saag Pilau for Burning Man
Lamb calls out for a starch of some kind—potatoes, rice, or couscous. Since I am doing Middle Eastern lamb shanks, I decided I would use ptitim. This Israeli couscous was invented in the 1950’s as a substitute for rice.
Karl’s Israeli Couscous With Almonds and Mint
Jan suggested Israeli couscous as the starch dish to go with my Easter lamb. Ptitim, or “Ben-Gurion rice,” has only a nodding acquaintance with the fine grained couscous of the rest of the Middle East. It was created in the early years of the nation of Israel as a rice substitute.
Karl’s Zatar Spinach Israeli Couscous