Making Koshari (aka the national dish of Egypt)

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Koshari (also spelled Koshary or Kushari) is the national dish of Egypt.  It’s served in virtually every Egyptian restaurant, in every Egyptian home, and on every Egyptian street corner.  Street vendors serve the dish from carts to people eagerly waiting in line to eat this beloved and highly popular dish.  An unusual combination, Koshari mixes lentils, macaroni noodles and rice into a single dish and it’s then topped with a spicy tomato sauce that uses a special Middle Eastern spice blend, garbanzo beans, and fried onions.  The idea sounds strange…until you taste it.  Then you’ll know why this dish is a favorite among Egyptians.

This is how I make my Koshari:


3 or 4.


  • Green lentils. (a bag maybe)
  • Rice
  • 3 big brown onions
  • Vinegar
  • Tomato (plain pasta sauce)
  • Cumin
  • Sun flower oil
  •  Spices: Salt/chili/pepper


2 cups of lentils in a cooking bowl, fill it up with water. (The amount of water should be the same amount that you will use for the rice. i.e if you’re making 3 cups of rice then make it three cups of water.)

Leave it to boil until it becomes soft like rice, don’t over boil the lentils cause it’ll get all mushy. So be watchful of that.

After the lentils are cooked down throw away the water, the water should have a brownish colour by then. Drain the lentils, take it out and keep it in a bowl for now. Also,  remember  keep the water of the lentils too.

Then, with your onions cut them into small bits, get a frying pan, fill it a bit with sunflower oil and cook the onions in them. It’s good to put a fair bit of oil as well, cause you’ll need that that oil after for your sauce to put it for the rice.

So keep stirring the onions until they become brownish! Be careful not to burn them cause it’ll ruin the taste. Be watchful of them when they become goldish brown. After it’s ready, drain the onion put it in a separate bowl. There should be some oil in the frying pan, take that oil and put it in a a cup to use for later.

Cooking the rice:

Sometimes the lentil absorbs some of the water that you’ve used, so you if you feel the water is not enough you can add a cup or two.

Pour the lentil’s water into the pot (this is cooking the rice manually). After that pour about two or three teaspoons of the onions oil in the pot. Taste the water if you feel it’s not enough you can add some more oil.

Then add some salt and cumin (2 tea spoons) and then the rice and the lentils and mix them all up in the pot. When the water has absorbed the rice, leave it on low heat for about 30 mins.

How to make the sauce:

Put a whole jar tomato sauce in a pot and what’s left of the onions oil. Then pour 1 and a half of vinegar in it. If the sauce tastes too much of vinegar, add more pasta sauce. Keep stirring until it cooks, then add your chili, 2 tea spoons of cumin and salt!

Ta da you’re all done!

Bon appetite/Bel hana wel shefa 🙂


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