Couscous is a delicious alternative to rice or pasta as a side dish.  Couscous is a light, healthy grain.  Meat or vegetable stews are typically served over couscous; however, couscous also works as a great side dish that goes well with chicken or fish.  Couscous is very absorbent and therefore, absorbs marinades and flavors well.  Frequently, when I purchase couscous, it does not come with cooking directions.  The cooking method of couscous is similar to the method used to cook rice, but the proportion of couscous to liquid is different than the proportion of rice to liquid.  This article includes the directions for how to make couscous and the proportion of couscous to liquid.

1 1/2 cups of couscous
2 3/4 cups of liquid (water, chicken broth, or other flavorful stock)
Pinch of salt
Butter (if desired)

Couscous is prepared by combining the couscous with a cooking liquid.  The liquid used is typically water, but you can substitute chicken broth or another flavorful stock, such as vegetable, to add more flavor.  To make your couscous, bring the liquid and salt to a boil.  If you are watching your sodium intake, you can omit the salt.  Particularly, if you are already using a stock which has sodium and will provide flavor on its own, you do not need to add additional salt for flavor.  If you are not using a stock and are looking for additional flavor, you can add a little bit of butter to the water.  If you are a big fan of butter and not concerned about calories, feel free to add the butter to the stock as well.  Once the liquid has come to a boil, add the couscous and remove the pot from the heat.  Cover the pot with a lid and allow it to sit for about five (5) minutes. After five (5) minutes, the couscous should be light and fluffy, not gummy.  Fluff the couscous with a fork and make sure that all of the liquid has been absorbed.  To make life a little easier and the couscous fluffier, I like to make my couscous in a rice cooker with the same proportions as listed above.