Dish of Koshari
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Koshari
Egypt
  -   Koshari, Kushari
Serves
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
8 main  
***
1-1/2 hrs  
Yes

This is practically the "national dish" of Egypt, served in almost every restaurant and by thousands of street vendors - but it's not Egyptian in origin. It is based on the Anglo-Indian Kitchari (Kedgeree) brought by the English, plus Pasta from Italian influence. This recipe may look difficult at first, but it's not (see Note-4). This dish can be reheated in the oven, in a foil covered casserole.




8
1
1
1
1/4
-------
11
1/8
1
2
14oz
-------
oz
c
T
c
t
----
oz
t
T
c
can
----
Pasta (1)
Rice (2)
Olive Oil
Lentils, brown
Salt
-- Garnish
Onions
Salt
Olive Oil
Tomato Sauce (3)
Chickpeas
----------------
Prepare Garnishes   -   (45 min - Best done well ahead)
  1. Make Tomato Sauce (see Note-3).
  2. Quarter ONIONS lengthwise and slice thin. Sprinkle with 1/8 t Salt and fry in Oil over low flame, stirring often, until caramelized - very darek, but not at all burned (bitter). The salt will help them brown evenly.
  3. Drain Chickpeas.
Run   -   (40 min)
  1. Put out your Onions and Chickpeas to warm to room temperature.
  2. Put LENTILS in a sauce pan with water to cover well. Bring to a boil and simmer until just done (about 20 minutes). They should be cooked through, but still reasonably firm. Drain, stir in 1/4 t Salt and keep warm.
  3. Heat 1 T Olive Oil and fry RICE, stirring for a minute or two, then add 1/4 t Salt and 1-3/4 cups water. Cook tightly covered over low heat, about 20 minutes, same as you usually cook rice. Keep warm.
  4. Cook PASTA in plenty of boiling salted water until just done. Drain and return to the pot, stirring in a few drops of olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking. Keep warm.
  5. Bring your Sauce up hot for serving.
  6. Mix evenly together Rice, Lentils and Pasta (or see Note-5).
  7. In individual bowls, place a scoop of the Rice mix. Top with a small scoop of Sauce (go easy on the sauce, especially if using spicy Shatta). Garnish with caramelized Onions and a few Chickpeas. Serve warm.
NOTES:
  1. Pasta:   This should be about 2/3 small macaroni, like ditali or small elbows, and 1/3 spaghetti, broken into about 1-1/2 inch long pieces.
  2. Rice:   Preferably Egyptian rice, but a California, Spanish or Italian medium grain rice will work fine.
  3. Tomato Sauce:   Formerly, a red Shatta Sauce was popular, but today a Tomato Baharat Sauce is preferred, and I recommend that sauce - it's simplicity goes well with this dish.
  4. Method:   You want to cook the Pasta, Lentils and Rice simultaneously, and have them all finish at the same time. If you start them at the same time they will be close enough. This is pretty much a 4 burner operation, one for each of the main ingredients and one to warm the sauce. Fortunately, you don't need much else for a good meal, perhaps a salad and some beer. If you have done the garnishes in advance, you will have little to do for the half hour the main ingredients take to cook, and serving takes only moments. In case things aren't going quite right, you can hold the major ingredients in a warm oven. I'm sure the street vendors have special rigs that keep this stuff warm for hours.
  5. Serving: Professional cooks in Egypt like to serve this as a layered dome, pasta at the bottom, rice in the middle and lentils on top. For home service you can just mix all three, as was done in the photo example.
  6. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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