Koshary: Egyptian Rice, Pasta, and Lentils with a Tomato Garlic Sauce

Egyptian Koshary! I love to travel through food because I can’t possibly travel around the world as much as I want to. One of my Instagram friends is an aspiring chef from Egypt. We talk about food often and he’s as passionate as anyone about cooking. So when he asked me to make Egypt’s most famous street food, it was a no brainer. This stuff is full of carbo-loading deliciousness, and is also vegan! Although Adrian did try it with a fried egg, and that was super delicious as well. I definitely plan to eat this a few nights in a row before a race if I ever run another marathon again, haha. But it’s also bringing back some memories from Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations episode in Cairo, and between that imagery and this good stuff,  I feel like I"m almost there, right now. Many thanks to my buddy for the suggestion! 

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Koshary: Egyptian Rice, Pasta, and Lentils with Tomato Garlic Sauce

Time: 1 Hour
Serves: 4-6

1 cup canned chickpeas, drained
4 tbsp vinegar, divided
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cup basmati rice, washed to remove excess starch
2 oz spaghetti
1 cup macaroni
1 cup brown (or green) lentils, rinsed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 cups canola oil
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup water

Add chickpeas, 2 tbsp vinegar, coriander, cayenne, cumin, and ginger to a large bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.

Prepare your rice in a rice cooker, or alternatively, in a medium saucepan, bring 1 3/4 cups water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Add basmati rice and stir. When water returns to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover for 15 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and transfer to chickpea mixture, stirring to combine. 

While rice cooks, combine lentils and 4 cups water in a medium saucepan with 1/4 tsp salt. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer stirring occasionally, until lentils are al dente and almost tender, about 18 minutes. Drain and transfer to bowl with rice and chickpea mixture. Stir to combine.

Bring a pot of boiling salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and macaroni, and boil for 9-10 minutes, until al dente. Drain and set aside. 

In a medium bowl, add flour and season with salt and pepper. Lightly coat onion slices in flour and set aside on another plate. 

In a large heavy skillet or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion slices and fry in batches until brown and crisp, being careful not to overcrowd skillet. Remove from skillet with tongs and blot on paper towels. Set onions aside and reserve 2 tbsp oil.

Heat reserved oil in another medium skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add minced onion and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add tomato sauce and vinegar and simmer until sauce reduces, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, divide pasta between bowls. Top with rice, lentil, and chickpea mixture. Ladle over tomato sauce and garnish with fried onions. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and maybe even a little extra vinegar if you’re into that! Oh, and maybe a little chili garlic sauce or sriracha :)