Koshari – Egyptian, vegan specialty, it screamed at me from a poster of a small oriental restaurant. I didn’t know what it was, but I was naturally curious. There was a photo of the dish on the poster and it looked like mudardara – Lebanese rice with lentils and fried onions. A colorful mix of familiar ingredients from the Levant. So I had to try it urgently. However, the “coziness” of the restaurant didn’t appeal to me and I researched the Egyptian main course on the sofa at home so that I could cook it myself.
What is Koshari?
No sooner said than done! I researched it, I cooked it, I declared it brilliant and now I really want to share this Koshari recipe with you!
Koshari is an Egyptian dish that is not only cooked a lot at home, but you can also find it at markets and on street corners, where it is sold as cheap street food. It is considered a national dish and represents the diversity of Egyptian cuisine, which is influenced by Asian spices and Mediterranean cuisine.
What ingredients are needed for the Egyptian national dish?
Various staple foods such as rice, pasta, lentils, chickpeas, onions and tomatoes are combined to make this oriental dish. The spicy tomato sauce that is poured over the food gives the koshari its characteristic taste.
It is prepared with onion, garlic and the aromatic spices of the Levant. It is a dish that reflects the history and flavors of the region. Like Pad Thai or Nasi Goreng, it is prepared with the ingredients that are available. The ingredients can therefore vary from recipe to recipe.
How is Koshari prepared?
This nutritious meal involves chopping, frying and boiling! And since it involves many components, you’ll need to prepare them one by one to combine them for serving. It’s easy with my step-by-step instructions.
- Deep-fry the onion rings: Cut the onions into rings, roll in starch and fry in oil until crispy.
- Cook the tomato sauce: make the spice paste, fry in a pan, add the tomato purée and simmer.
- Prepare the koshari: Cook the lentils until al dente. Fry the lentils, rice and spices, pour in the water and leave to cook. Cook the pasta until al dente. Heat the chickpeas.
- Serve the koshari: Spoon the lentil and rice mixture onto a plate, top with noodles, chickpeas and sauce, garnish with fried onion rings and parsley and enjoy.
So if you prepare everything one after the other or let it simmer in parallel, it can only be super tasty.
Have fun cooking and, of course, bon appétit.
Recipe for Koshari – the Egyptian national dish
For the onion rings
- 1 large onion
- 30 g cornflour
- 1 pinch Salt
- 100 ml Rapeseed oil for frying
For the tomato sauce
For the Koshari
- 100 g Plate lentils
- 230 g Rice
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 0,5 teaspoon cumin
- Salt, pepper
- 500 ml Water
- 160 g small tubular noodles
- 215 g Chickpeas
- 8 Stems Parsley
Preparation of onion rings
- Peel the onion and cut into rings.
- Mix the cornflour with the salt and turn the onion rings in it on all sides.
- Heat the oil in a pan or pot to 170° C and fry the onion rings on all sides for approx. 5-7 minutes until golden and crispy.
- Drain on kitchen paper and set aside to serve.
Preparation tomato sauce
- Peel and roughly chop the onion and garlic.
- Puree the onion and garlic with the white wine vinegar, harissa, coriander, cumin and cinnamon in a food processor (blender) to a paste.
- Heat the oil in a pan and fry the paste in it over a medium heat for approx. 3 minutes. Pour in the tomato purée and simmer for approx. 20 minutes over a medium heat with the lid on. The sauce should thicken slightly. Season to taste with salt and keep the sauce warm until ready to serve.
- Rinse the lentils under running water and bring to the boil in a pan with water and salt. As soon as they have boiled briefly, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cook for approx. 10-15 minutes until al dente.
- Rinse the rice under running water until it has become clear.
- Heat the oil in a pan and fry the rice and lentils for approx. 3 minutes. Season with coriander, cumin and salt and add water.
- Bring the rice and lentil mixture to the boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and simmer with the lid on for approx. 20 minutes until the water has been absorbed. Fluff up with a fork from time to time.
- Cook the pasta al dente according to the packet instructions.
- Heat the chickpeas in a pan or in the microwave.
- Wash the parsley, pluck the leaves from the stalks and roughly chop.
- To serve, fluff up the rice and lentils with a fork and divide between plates. Top the lentil and rice mixture with the noodles, chickpeas and sauce, garnish with fried onion rings and parsley and serve.