Sunday, July 15, 2012

Koshary = Egyptian Yum!

I really love reading our little local newspaper, because it's full of stories and news about our community. But I especially like Wednesdays because that's the Food Section day! Recently, I tore out a recipe that caught my eye for an Egyptian dish called "Koshary." (Here's the original recipe) I'd never heard of it, but it looked pretty interesting, it was naturally vegan, and it sounded like something that Mr. Vegan Eats & Treats would LOVE.

So, finally, I made it. Wow! This business was seriously yumtown! I halved the recipe, because it really makes a LOT. Instead of half-lentils and half-chickpeas, I just used 1 can of chickpeas. It's quite a carb-fest: pasta, chickpeas, AND rice! But together it's really a great dish. I made it the night before Mr. Vegan Eats & Treats had a tournament tennis match, so that he could load up on carbs. As for me, I didn't really have an excuse for eating it. :) 

Honestly, the whole this is really good, but most especially, I think you could just make the pasta & chickpea part all alone and be very happy. Mr. VE&T both agreed that it tasted so much like mac and cheese (without any nutritional yeast, which is a big plus for me!). It's a really cool way of making pasta, where you brown the noodles first, and then add the water. Sort of like risotto! Sooooo good, friends. Try it, and tell me what you think! 

Here's my version of the recipe:
(text and everything from the Miami Herald article)

3/4 cups basmati rice
2 tsp olive oil, divided
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground dry ginger
14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
6 ounces small pasta (I used brown rice pasta shells and they were GREAT)
15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a small-medium saucepan over high heat, bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add the rice, cover the pan and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 20 minutes. When the rice is done, fluff with a fork, cover and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil. Add the garlic, cumin, cayenne and ginger, and heat for 30 seconds. Add the diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer.
While the tomatoes simmer, in a large sauté pan over medium-high, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and sauté until starting to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the pasta and continue to sauté until the pasta begins to brown, about another 5 to 6 minutes.
Stir the chickpeas, lentils and 2 cups water into the pasta mixture. Bring to a simmer. Cook until the water is absorbed and the pasta is tender. If needed, add additional water 2 Tablespoons at a time until the pasta is cooked. Season the pasta mixture with salt and pepper. Season the tomato mixture with a bit of salt, if desired.
To serve, make a pile of rice on each serving plate. Spoon some of the pasta mixture over the rice, then ladle the tomato sauce over that. Makes 4 servings. (or two if you are little piggies)

Read more here:


  1. Browning the pasta before cooking is also like Rice-a-Roni "The San Francisco Treat!" You may be too young for that to have any meaning, but for baby-boomers and older who grew up in CA, it's one of those advertising jingles that stays in your head forever.

    And BTW, I'm definitely going to make this dish!

  2. There's a restaurant in Knoxville that makes this dish - it is so so good! They use rice, macaroni, and lentils, and it's topped with a deliciously vinegary, spiced tomato sauce. I'd totally forgotten about it - thanks for the reminder!

  3. Anonymous7:45 PM

    what an interesting recipe! it sounds (and looks!) delicious!

  4. Looks really yummy. I may try that sometime. I'm always on the look out for a good recipe too, and it's fun to veganize it. :)

  5. I love koshari! I've only ever eaten it in Vienna (I blogged about it here ) but I need to make it at home sometime, just thinking about it has made me super hungry!

  6. Kushari is one of my favorite things! In Egypt there are shops dedicated just to making it properly. My favorite shops layer it like so: rice/tiny pasta/lentils on the bottom, chickpeas on top, crunchy fried onion over that, tomato sauce, garlic/vinegar sauce. mmmmmm.

  7. Ladidah9:24 AM

    We've made this twice now, it's a great recipe! All we change is cooking the chickpeas and pasta with vege stock instead of water. Thanks :)


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