Koshari

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 Koshari

 Koshari (or Kushari) is a delicious Egyptian vegetarian recipe consisting of green lentils, macaroni and rice mixed together with caramelised onions. It is served with a tomato-based sauce, finished with a crispy onion garnish and is best accompanied by a garden salad.

Koshri is another one of those genius solutions to using up pantry staples. It is a cousin to the Middle Eastern Mujadara. In a nutshell, it is a comforting bowl of simple pantry staples: spiced lentils and rice, combined with chickpeas and small pasta.  All smothered in a tomato sauce that’s been spiked with vinegar. Then it’s topped with savory, crispy thin fried onion rings.

A perfect Winter dish that is inexpensive and hearty. 

SERVES 4–6

PREPARATION :30MIN

COOKING : 1hr45MIN

SKILL LEVEL:  Easy                              

Ingredients:

Crispy onions:
oil, for deep-frying
2 onions, finely sliced

Sauce:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
250 g tomato paste
1 tsp baharat
salt and pepper
chilli flakes (optional)
250 ml water
Rice, macaroni and lentils:
olive oil
1 cup medium-grain rice
1 cup green lentils, rinsed until the water runs clear
2 cups small macaroni
2 large onions, finely sliced
1 tsp baharat

Instructions:

Prepare the onion garnish by heating sufficient oil in a saucepan, adding the onions and deep-frying until dark brown. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towel. Leave to cool.

To make the sauce, place a saucepan over moderate heat and add the oil and onion. Cook until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and fry to pale brown. Stir in the tomato paste and baharat and add salt, pepper and chilli flakes (if using) to taste. Add the water and simmer for 15–20 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by half. Remove from the heat.

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a separate saucepan over moderate heat. Add the rice and 1 tsp of salt and fry for 2 minutes, then add 500 ml of water. Stir well and bring to the boil. Once boiling, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the rice is cooked.

Meanwhile, place the lentils in another saucepan with 500 ml of water and simmer until tender then drain. In another saucepan boil the macaroni with a little salt until al dente then drain. Heat 80 ml of olive oil in a frying pan and cook the onions until soft and caramelised.

To serve, reheat the tomato sauce. Place the hot macaroni in a large serving dish and coat with a little extra olive oil. Add the hot rice, lentils and caramelised onions and mix through. Sprinkle with the baharat and pour over the desired amount of tomato sauce. Garnish with the crispy onions.