Koshari, a grain + pasta vegetable dish, topped with a spicy tomato sauce and sauteed onions, is sometimes referred to as “Egypt’s national dish.”
2 Cups macaroni or other pasta
1 Cup green lentils
1 clove of garlic
1 Bay Leaf
1 tsp Ground Cumin
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Cup medium grain brown rice
2-1/2 Cups water (reduce to 2 Cups water if using white rice)
salt to taste
1 – 15.5 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 small (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, pureed (you can also use crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce)
2 tsp Baharat
1 Tbsp Pinot Noir Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
salt, to taste
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
First, make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add chopped onion and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent and garlic and onion have softened. Add the pureed tomatoes, Baharat, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, and salt. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a bare simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, cook all the other ingredients: Cook macaroni (or other pasta) according to the package instructions, until the noodles are al dente. In another pan, combine lentils with 2 Cups water, garlic, cumin and bay leaf in a saucepan over high heat. Bring lentil pot to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer,covered, until lentils are tender. Strain any excess water not absorbed by the lentils, and discard chunk of garlic and the bay leaf. Add salt to taste and stir to combine salt with lentil mixture. At the same time, make the rice. In a medium saucepan, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add brown rice and toast for 1 minute. Add water and salt to oil and rice, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 20 – 30 minutes, or until rice is done.
Make the topping by heating another 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the thinly sliced onions and fry until the onions are well-browned.
Now, assemble the meal: In a large serving bowl, combine the prepared rice, lentils, macaroni and chickpeas. Toss to combine. Taste and add salt, if necessary. Cover to keep warm until ready to serve. To serve, put a generous serving of the koshari onto a plate or bowl. Top with a ladle of the spiced tomato sauce, and grnish with the carmelized onions.