The Master, rising to his feet, said to us, “Come and eat with me”.



















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Eating together has always been a habitual custom, not only for Gurdjieff’s groups, but also for many other Middle-Eastern groups. Arab cooking, with its unmistakable tones, offers a marvellous range of dishes that enhance our times of Work and fix the memory of smells and flavours. Preparing couscous and eating it together with other seekers can become a good opportunity to

exercise our awareness and rediscover the ancient flavours of the meals prepared by Gurdjieff himself.


The preparation of couscous, whilst simple, requires precise treatment: the grains must be swollen, light and detached from each other, so as not to form lumps and not to be heavy. For this reason, it is clear that steam cooking is essential.

The traditional pot, in terracotta, copper or aluminium, consists of a lower part, where the stew is cooked, and an upper part, with a base full of small holes, for the couscous. If you want to try your hand, but you don’t have a couscoussier nearby, you could make do with a steam pan, or a metal sieve that makes a good fit in a large pot.


Before cooking, the couscous must be soaked in a little cold water and worked between the fingers, so as to help prevent the formation of lumps; it should then be poured into the top of the couscoussier an hour before the stew is ready (the stew should already be simmering in the lower part of the pot), and the grains should then be moved by hand, so as to introduce more air and help them to swell, during the first half-hour or so.


After this, the couscous is usually poured into a large terrine, sprayed with cold water and mixed with a wooden spoon to crumble any lumps that may have formed. It is usually at this point that salt is added, and perhaps a little oil, and the couscous is then put back into the upper part of the couscoussier for the remaining half-hour. Couscous can also be cooked in the steam of normal boiling water, whereas pre-cooked couscous, which takes just a few minutes to prepare, should be made up according to the instructions on the packet. 





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If you want to make your food extra special, while you are cooking, think about how much you love the people who will eat it. Be aware of this, and caress them with your thoughts. The food will be transformed - the proof of the pudding is in the eating! Cooking and exercising a person’s presence is an ancient practice, used for millennia.