Tuesday, February 27, 2007

KOSHARY - you can't be in Egypt & not eat it!

In my quest for my Holy Grail (read Vegetarian food in Cairo), I stumbled upon Koshary! You can't visit Egypt and not have Koshary - that's akin to blasphemy!!

Koshary is a traditional Egyptian meal that consists of a strange combination of macaroni, spaghetti, rice, black lentils, chick peas, garlic sauce and a spicy tomato chili sauce, all topped with fried onions. It is sold from carts by street vendors, in restaurants or even made at home and each is considered a different taste experience. I am enclosing a recipe which is supposed to be quite authentic but every koshary stall, every home, every restaurant will have its own version...

1 cup brown lentils

1 cup rice

1 cup uncooked macaroni (orzo, small shells or elbow macaroni)

2 large onions, diced

2 tablespoons oil

2 cups tomato saucehot chili powder or saucesalt


Cook the lentils in salted water until tender and strain.

Cook the rice in salted water until tender and drain.

Also cook the macaroni, rinse and strain.

Place lentils, rice and macaroni in a cooking pot.

Fry onions in the oil until browned, then drain the onions on absorbent paper towel and strain the oil into the lentil mixture. Return to the cooking surface and cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and burning.

Place mixture on each plate and top with tomato sauce, onions and sprinkle with hot chili powder or sauce if desired.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Masah el Kheer

Masah el kheer!

My husband and I are amidst 1300 year old mosques, modern infrastructure, ancient bazaars, huge malls, mixed with not just Pharonic history but also a mysterious Coptic past and military Caliphate history.

Settling into new home - it’s an adventure! It’s a large beautiful apartment that is full of light and feels happy!

Time value is a concept that is clearly not understood but the people are very nice. People are smiling, passionate, more fashionable than the Europeans and very very argumentative!

Saw the pyramids - they are awesome and breathtaking, though its humbling to know that man created this over 4000 years ago!

Vegetarian food is a quest for Holy Grail, but I am enjoying the chase!

Cold weather is reminiscent of Delhi- I'm chilled to the bone...but its fun!!