My First Encounter with Koshari – a Traditional Egyptian Dish
About a year after I had graduated from university and worked for a year as primary school teacher in a small town in Switzerland, I felt the urge to go and live in an Arabic country for a while and discover how Arabs and Muslims live. So it came to be that I had the privilege to stay with an Egyptian family in Cairo for about 6 weeks before I traveled to the UAE which would be the country I would stay in for a very long time.
The family I lived with had 2 cooks and some maids and they were cooking traditional Egyptian dishes like Maccarouna Bechamel, Chicken Pane and Koshari. The latter is a dish made with leftover lentils, rice, pasta, tomato sauce, chickpeas and fried onions. It is very tasty.
My Healthy Version of the Not-So-Healthy Egyptian Koshari Dish
Since I love Koshari, but like to eat healthy food, I created my own tasty and super healthy recipe. Instead of using fried onions I fry my own in coconut oil. Instead of using inflammatory vegetable oils, I use olive oil for the sauce and coconut oil for frying the pasta and I use wholegrain brown rice and wholegrain gluten-free buckwheat pasta. I top it off with apple cider vinegar with the mother which contains great digestive enzymes.
Ready? Let’s Cook Some Koshari!
Koshari is great if you have some leftover rice, pasta, tomato sauce or lentils – but even if you don’t you can still make it. I will give you measurements for dry and cooked ingredients so you can easily follow along my recipe.
First, you need to make some Basic Tomato Sauce. Click on the link to be redirected to my recipe. If you don’t want to make your own you can buy ready made sauce.
Next, cook the lentils, the brown rice and the pasta. Once the pasta is cooked, fry in coconut oil with some garlic and salt until golden brown.
In the meantime, fry some small strips of onions on low heat in some coconut oil until crispy. Place on a a sheet of kitchen towel to remove some of the oil.
Finally, pile up all the ingredients on a plate. Start with the pan fried pasta, add the lentils and then the rice. Top the rice with the tomato sauce and put the fried onions on top. Add some cumin powder and apple cider vinegar to add extra taste and flavor. Add extra salt if needed. Enjoy!