Serves a Crowd

Egyptian Koshary (Lentils, Rice, and Pasta with a garlicky tomato sauce)

October 15, 2020
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  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 4 with leftovers
What You'll Need
  • Koshary (Lentils & Rice)
  • 4 large onions, peeled, cut in half, then sliced very thinly into half moons
  • 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
  • 2 cups medium grain white rice (such as Goya, River Rice, or Cleopatra brand at most ethnic grocers), washed until water runs clear
  • 1.5 + extra teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 pound small pasta (such as Ditalini or elbow)
  • 14 ounces canned chickpeas, drained
  • Garlicky Tomato Sauce
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 8 garlic cloves, pressed in a garlic press
  • 1 /4 cups white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 15 ounces water
  1. Koshary (Lentils & Rice)
  2. To make fried onions: heat the oil on medium high heat in a deep frying pan.
  3. After slicing the onions, place in a colander and rub with salt. Allow to sit to extract some of the water content.
  4. When the oil is hot, gently place the onions in the hot oil (beware, it will splash). Fry, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a light brown color. Sprinkle with sugar at this stage. Stir and continue frying until you see a medium brown color (see photo). Remove promptly to a paper-towel lined plate. Continue frying in batches until all the onions are finished, set aside. Keep the oil for later use.
  5. Meanwhile, bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium, non-stick stockpot. When the water comes to a boil, add the lentils and 1 tablespoon of salt. Allow to boil for exactly 5 minutes, drain and set aside. The lentils should still have a crunch; they will continue cooking later.
  6. In a medium pot, cook 1 lb of pasta according to package directions in well-salted water. Drain, drizzle with olive oil, mix thoroughly and set aside.
  7. Now, prepare the koshary as follows: Transfer 1/2 cup of the oil used for frying the onions (and a handful of fried onions) into the nonstick pot. Add 3 cups of water and 1.5 teaspoons of salt, cover and bring to a boil on medium high heat.
  8. Once this mixture comes to a boil, add 2 cups of rice and all of the lentils. Mix thoroughly and cover. Return to boiling.
  9. As soon as the koshary mix is boiling, immediately drop the heat to low. Keep covered and allow all the water to be absorbed, around 20 minutes. While this is cooking, make the tomato sauce.
  10. Assemble your koshary plate: Start with a generous helpings of koshary in a deep bowl. Add pasta on top. Drizzle with tomato sauce, then top with fried onions and chickpeas, if desired. Enjoy!
  1. Garlicky Tomato Sauce
  2. In a medium sauce pot, heat 1/2 cup of oil used for frying onions (above) on medium heat.
  3. Add all of the garlic, saute until yellow. Immediately add all of the tomato paste.
  4. Stir tomato paste and garlic until the paste starts to soften and separate. Add salt, pepper, and cumin.
  5. Add the vinegar (stand back as this will splash and emit a sharp smell). Stir a few more times then add one 15 oz can of tomato sauce and an equal amount of water. Mix thoroughly and cover.
  6. Once it begins to boil, drop the heat to low and allow to simmer, about 10 or so minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce is ready when the oil rises to the top.

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