Monday, February 3, 2014

Koshari - Egypt's National Dish

Egyptian Koshari

This national dish of Egypt was very new to me. I had never heard about it, until I started doing research for International national dishes. In addition to being Egypt's national dish, it is also a very popular street food. It is a flavorful, Vegetarian one pot meal.

I used brown rice and whole grain pasta simply because I prefer to cook with whole grains. It's a healthier alternative to the white pasta and white rice you would get on the streets of Cairo. For those of you who have been trying to introduce your family to healthier brown rice, this is the perfect dish to do this. Mixed with all of the other ingredients and the amazing flavor of Baharat, I don't think you will be hearing any complaints about the firmer texture of brown rice.

I met an Egyptian cook a few days ago who told me this is usually made with angel hair pasta instead of macaroni. Next time, I am going to make it with the angel hair.

Egyptian National DishFull of very simple and cost effective ingredients, this was a delicious meal.

(adapted from The Daring Gourmet)
Serves 6
  • 2 cups macaroni
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup medium grain brown rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water (reduce to 2 cups water if using white rice)
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 15.5 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, pureed (you can also use crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons Baharat (Middle Eastern/North African spice blend)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • salt, to taste
Topping Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced

To make the sauce, heat oil. Add onion and garlic. Cook until softened. Add pureed tomatoes, Baharat, vinegar, chile and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, cook all the other ingredients.
Cook macaroni according to package instructions, until al dente.
Combine lentils with 2 cups water, garlic, cumin and bay leaf in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until lentils are tender. Strain and discard garlic and bay leaf. Add salt to taste and toss to combine.
In a saucepan, heat oil. Add rice and toast for 1 minute.
Add water and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes, until rice is done.
In a large bowl, combine rice, lentils, macaroni and chickpeas. Toss to combine. Taste and add salt, if necessary. Cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

To make the topping, heat oil.
Add onions and fry until the onions are browned.
To serve, Spoon the koshari onto a place or bowl. Top with the spiced tomato sauce. Garnish with the carmelized onions.
Egyptian Street Food

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#37
...linking to African Diaspora Recipes & MLLA hosted by Lisa

Chef Mireille


  1. Koshari is my favorite dish and I make it quite often! Such a lovely combination of flavors in this dish :) Looks yummy Mir!

  2. I like all the ingredients that went into this dish and have a feeling I will like it. Looks delicious!

  3. Mir you bring a different world recipe each time i have visited you...the reason i love coming here..this is absolute stunner, liked the combinations and lovely pictures

  4. I had never heard of this dish either. That is a very interesting mix of ingredients.

  5. Koshari looks so inviting and very well made :) looks so very tempting !!

  6. That's one pot meal sounds fabulous Mir and the way you cook new dishes sounds so good..

  7. Wow!Nice dish Mir! I wanted to do this for the previous theme but it sounded like a lot of work so stuck to the simple ones. Will make this sometime when I am free,,,

    1. it's really not that much work and cooks quickly. The only thing is that since everything needs to be cooked separately you dirty a lot of pots. It's the only time I remember having four pots on the stove simultaneously all for just one dish :)

  8. Thanks for sharing this with MLLA. Sounds delicious.

  9. Very interesting dish.. Love to try it once..

  10. My husband is in Egypt now. I have made many other dishes but not this, thank you. I will try it and he will be surprised!. It looks awesome!

  11. I read about this in one of the Cooking light cookbooks I own and they used vermicelli instead of macaroni. I wanted to make this for quite sometime, you have tempted me to try it out soon :-)

  12. This I need to try on my guinea pigs, sorry my family. Only thing is I will not be able to get Baharat.

  13. Must try this out on my guinea pigs. Thanks thi si new to me.


Thank you for your feedback. All comments are appreciated.
Chef Mireille

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