Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Koshary (Egyptian Lentil, Pasta, Rice Dish)

Koshary comes from the Hindi kishri meaning an "unlikely mixture".It is a popular traditional Egyptian dish consisting of a layer of rice, brown lentils, chickpeas, elbow pasta toppped with garlic, vinegar and spicy hot sauce garnished with caramelized onions.It is a very poopular and inexpensive dish consumed throughout Egypt at any time of day.It is sold by street vendors and restaurants that sell koshary only.

6 Servings


2 c white rice, cooked

1 lb. elbow macaroni pasta, cooked

2 c brown lentils, cooked

2 c chickpeas, cooked

For the Salsa:

2 onions, sliced thinly

4 Tbsp. vegetable oil

4 Tbsp. white vinegar

2c tomatoe puree

1 tsp. cumin

pinch of salt

pinch of cumin

pinch of black pepper

For the caramelized onions:

3 onions, roughly chopped

2 c vegetable oil

For the garlic & vinegar Sauce:

1 Tbsp. garlic, crushed

pinch of salt

4 Tbsp. white vinegar

1/2 c water

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. cumin

For the hot Sauce:

1 tsp. garlic, crushed

pinch of salt

1/2 c vegetable oil

1/2 tsp. chili flakes

1 chili pepper, finely chopped

  1. Cook the rice, pasta, lentils , and chickpeas according to instructions on package. Set aside individually.

  2. For the salsa, add the chopped onions to the hot oil and saute until golden, stirring frequently. Add the vinegar and continue cooking for another minute. Add the tomatoe puree, cumin, salt, and black pepper.Cook until the tomatoe sauce thickens.Then set aside and keep warm.

  3. For the caramelized onions.Heat the oil on a pan and add the onions and saute , stirring frequently until golden brown and crispy.Set aside on a paper towel to drain.Keep warm.

  4. For the garlic and vinegar sauce, add vinegar, water, lemon juice,and cumin to garlic and mix well.Set aside.

  5. For the hot sauce, mix garlic with salt, set aside.Heat vegetable oil and add chili flakes and stir.Add chili pepper and garlic mixture and stir till well combined.Remove from heat and set aside.

  6. In a large dish, layer the rice, pasta,lentils, chickpeas, salsa, and caramelized onions on top of eachother.Serve with the garlic/vinegar and hot sauce on the side.

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  1. Absoloutely delicious! I make the Gujarati version (we call it 'khichdi') of this often and it has been my favourite since I was a baby! Fascinating to know there is an egyptian version of it...!

  2. Thanks Sanjana,
    Yes I heard that a variation of this dish is familiar throughout parts of India and neighboring countries.

  3. I just returned from Egypt and, at the suggestion of a friend, tried koshary at one of those "hole in the wall" establishments. I can't wait to recreate this at home with your guidance.