Delicious fibre and protein-packed koshari is the Egyptian comfort food you must try!
Koshari is a wonderful fibre and protein-packed mix of pasta, chickpeas, rice, lentils, onion, and tomato sauce, spiced with coriander. A thoroughly delicious mix of textures and flavours that make it a comfort food in its native Egypt.
Like Middle Eastern mujadara or adas polo, koshari is a staple dish that can be eaten as a main or side. Thought the serving sizes in this recipe make it a side dish, I find myself grabbing a little for a snack or lunch whenever it's on hand.
Use gluten-free pasta to make this dish gluten-free. Otherwise, this dish is vegan and suitable to be served to those with common dietary restrictions.
(Makes 8 servings)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small sweet onion, grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 can (796ml / 29oz) San Marzano tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup avocado oil
1 large sweet onion, sliced into rings and rings separated
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
1 cup basmati rice
1 cup macaroni
1 can (540ml / 15oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder, divided
Begin by making the tomato sauce. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the extra-virgin olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the grated onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir frequently until the onion softens (about 3 minutes). Add the garlic, coriander powder, and ground black pepper. Combine well with the onion and sauté for an additional minute before adding the diced tomatoes (undrained). Mix well, reduce heat to medium and cover, cooking for about 20 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and the sauce is thick. Stir regularly. Once the sauce has thickened, add the vinegar, mix well and turn off the burner, leaving the pot to remain warm until needed.
As the tomato sauce is cooking, begin making the onions. In a shallow bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, garlic powder and salt. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the avocado oil. As the oil heats, take the onion rings and toss them in the flour mixture. When the oil is hot, shake and excess flour off the rings and carefully add them to the sauté pan a batch at a time and fry until they soften and begin to caramelize. Transfer cooked onions to a paper-lined plate to drain and continue cooking until all the onions are prepared. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the lentils, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon coriander powder and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook partially covered, stirring regularly, until they become soft but not mushy (about 20 minutes). Drain any excess water and set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add 2 cups of water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon coriander powder then bring to a boil. Add the rice, stir, and reduce heat to medium. Once it returns to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook, stirring regularly, until all the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat, keep covered, and set aside. After 5 to 10 minutes, fluff with a fork.