Monday, June 25, 2012


Kushari (Egyptian pasta, rice and lentils with tomato sauce)

From the website from which I got the recipe: "Kushari is a simple yet healthful dish of pasta, rice and lentils widely sold in small Egyptian restaurants and roadside stands. With its full complement of protein, a spicy topping of tomato sauce and crispy fried onions,kushari is often considered the Egyptian national dish.  Kushari was originally a poor man's dish, but nowadays kushari is enjoyed by all strata of society. Variously spelled kosharikosherikoushari or koshary."

I made this dish on Monday, June 25.  Andy and I both enjoyed it very much.  It reminded me of spaghetti and also of macaroni beef casserole minus the beef.  I suppose this makes sense as it contains pasta with a red sauce.  I overcooked the lentils, so when I mixed all of the grains together, they turned to mush.  I suspect that this affected the texture more than the taste.  Overall, this was a delicious, simple, cheap dish that I can see myself making again.

-1 c. rice
-1 c. macaroni
-1 c. lentils
-2 T. oil
-1 onion, chopped finely
-2-3 cloves minced garlic
-2 c. crushed tomatoes
-1 tsp. red pepper flakes
-1/2 tsp. cumin
-salt and pepper to taste
-oil for frying
-1 onion, sliced thinly
-salt and pepper

1) Cook the rice and 2 cups of water in a covered pot until done, about 20 minutes. Cook the macaroni according to package directions, or until al dente. Simmer the lentils and 2 cups of water in a covered pot until tender, 30-45 minutes.

2) While the rice, pasta and lentils are cooking, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent and wilted, 4-5 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce, cumin and pepper flakes; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes; add a little water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

3) Heat about 1/2-inch of oil in a heavy skillet. Add the sliced onions and fry until they turn brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels.4) Place the rice, macaroni and lentils in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and stir together gently with a fork. 

5) To serve, portion the mixture into individual bowls and spoon some tomato sauce over each portion. Top with crispy fried onions and serve hot or at room temperature.

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