If you are a starch lover, then Egyptian Koshari is going to be a culinary dream come true for you. Koshari (also called Koshary or Kushari) is the national dish of Egypt. Served in almost every Egyptian restaurant, in nearly all Egyptian homes, and on every Egyptian street corner, Egyptian Koshari is a sumptuous repast of rice, macaroni, lentils, and a spicy tomato-vinegar sauce.
Egyptian Koshari Recipe-
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup medium grain rice
- 1 cup brown lentils
- 2 cups small macaroni
- 2 cups lamb broth
- 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp. salt, and more salt, if desired, to taste
For the Sauce-
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small white or yellow onion, peeled and chopped fine
- 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
- 1 (15 oz.) can unseasoned cooked/pureed tomatoes
- 2 tsp. baharat spice blend (a must have ingredient!)
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red chili pepper flakes (optional, if you do not like hot spicy dishes)
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the Crispy Onion Garnish-
- 2 large white or yellow onions, peeled and sliced thinly
- vegetable oil for deep-frying
- 1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high flame in a skillet. Add and stir in the rice and fry it for 2 minutes, then add and stir in the lamb broth. Bring everything to a vigorous, rolling boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet, and let it simmer until the rice is cooked and tender – about 15 minutes should do it.
- While the rice is cooking, rinse the lentils under cold water and add place them in another saucepan with 2 cups of water. Add in the garlic, bay leaf and cumin, and bring it to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until the lentils are fully tenderized. When the lentils are well cooked, add in the salt and stir to combine. Strain off any excess liquid if need be.
- Follow the package instructions to cook the macaroni until al dente.
To Make the Sauce-
- Heat the oil over medium-high flame in a medium-sized saucepan, and then add in the onion. Cook until soft, fragrant and translucent, about 5-6 minutes.
- Now add and stir in the garlic and sauté until golden brown. Add and stir in the tomato puree, baharat, salt and pepper to taste, red pepper chili flakes (if using) and red wine vinegar. Bring the dish to a just lively simmer, cover the pan, and simmer, stirring now and then, for 20 minutes.
- Cook’s Note: It is good to prepare the rice, macaroni and lentils (in above directions) while this sauce is simmering – leave them covered in the pots to keep warm in the meantime.
To Make the Crispy Onions-
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high flame.
- Add the onions in and sauté until a rich, fragrant, dark brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the oil, and place them on paper towels – allow to cool and drain.
To serve your Egyptian Koshari, ladle out generous portions of the rice, lentils and macaroni onto each serving plate. Sprinkle some baharat seasoning over each serving, topped with the spicy tomato-vinegar sauce. On top of all that goes some garbanzo beans, crispy onions, and yet another sprinkling of baharat. Serve your Egyptian Koshari while still nice and very warm.
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