This tasty rice and lentil dish is Egypt’s national comfort food. Flavoured with tomato, garlic and chilli, it’s hearty, flavoursome and inexpensive to prepare. Koshari is a specialty of street vendors who dish it out from huge metal cauldrons. It’s also a staple in Egyptian homes, commonly eaten during meat- and dairy-free fasts during Lent and Christmas.
- 130 g brown lentils
- 200 g (1 cup) white rice
- 60 g small elbow macaroni
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 long red chilli, finely chopped
- 280 ml (1 cup) passata
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make tomato sauce, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic for 4 minutes or until golden. Stir in chilli, passata and 250 ml water, and cook for a further 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Set aside and keep warm.
Cook lentils in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 25 minutes or until just tender. Drain, return to the pan and set aside. Cook rice in a second saucepan of boiling salted water for 12 minutes or until just tender. Drain (reserving the water) and add drained rice to lentils. Return water to pan. Cook macaroni in reserved pan of boiling salted water for 8 minutes or until just tender. Drain, and combine with lentil mixture. Cover.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook onion for 5 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a bowl, then pour oil from pan over lentil mixture. Return lentil mixture over high heat and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until heated through. Top with onions and serve with tomato sauce.
As seen in Feast magazine, Mar 2012, Issue 7.
Photography by Brett Stevens.