Koshari is the national dish of Egypt that mixes lentil, rice, small macaroni noodles, a spicy tomato sauce, topped with fried onions and chick peas. This is another dish for the International Year of Pulses. The tomato sauce is made with a spice blend called Baharat and this gives the dish its amazing flavour.
- 1 cup of medium grain rice
- 1tblsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tsp stock powder
- 1/4 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup brown lentils
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tblsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1 can tomato puree
- 2 tsp Baharat (see below for home made recipe)
- 1/4 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
- 1 Tblsp red wine vinegar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups small macaroni pasta like elbow or other small pasta
- 5 cups of water
- 1 Tblsp salt
Crisp Fried Onions:
- 2 large onions, finely sliced
- vegetable oil for deep frying
- 1 can of chick peas, drained
- Place olive oil in pan and heat on medium
- Put in the rice and stir to toast the grains for 5 minutes or till lightly coloured
- Dissolve the stock powder, salt and pepper into the water and add to the rice
- Stir in well, bring to the boil and then turn the heat to the lowest setting.
- Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes till cooked and then set aside, the grains should separate well.
- Place lentils in a broad sieve and remove any small stones or other impurities
- Rinse the lentils under cold water, washing them well
- Using a medium saucepan, add the washed lentils with 2 cups of water.
- Add the garlic, cumin and bay leaf and bring the lentils to the boil.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
- When cooked, add the salt and stir to combine.
- Strain any excess liquid if necessary.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat
- Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic and saute until golden brown, for about 2 minutes.
- Add the tomato puree, Baharat, salt and pepper, chile flakes (if using) and red wine vinegar.
- Bring it to the boil and then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Check occasionally and add a little water if the sauce is drying out too much
- Prepare the macaroni last so that the pasta is warm and will not stick together
- Bring the water to the boil and add the salt, dissolving it
- Add the macaroni and cook until al dente
- When cooked, drain and combine with the other ingredients to make up the Koshari
Crisp Fried Onions:
- Heat the oil in a small frypan.
- Add the onions and fry until dark brown.
- Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and place them on paper towels to drain and cool.
Making up the Koshari:
- Add the rice, lentils and macaroni to a large bowl and toss to combine
- Place a little of the spicy tomato sauce on top .
- Sprinkle over with chick peas, the crispy onions and sprinkle over a little of the Baharat spice.
- Serve warm.
Making your own Baharat spice:
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Heat a small fry pan over medium-high heat
- Dry roast the whole seeds ( but not the the allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg) until they become very fragrant, about 3-5 minutes, tossing regularly to prevent the seeds burning.
- Transfer them immediately to a bowl and allow them to cool completely before grinding them with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder with the allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Place in a jar and with the lid open for an hour to allow the mix to cool down well
- Seal the airtight glass jar and store in a cool dark place.