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.

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