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Egyptian Koshary

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Egyptian Koshary is not something you want to eat weekly or even monthly if you’re watching your figure, but as a special treat why not try it out?

Koshary, kushari or koshari is Egypt’s national dish and widely popular street food. A traditional Egyptian staple, mixing pasta, rice, and brown lentils, and topped with a zesty tomato sauce, garlic vinegar, and garnished with chickpeas and crispy fried onions,

Yield: 8-10 servings depending on size

Egyptian Koshary

an image of a bowl filled with Egyptian Koshary

Khadija adapted this meal from a Mediterranean cooking page and tweaked it a bit to make his own! He said: This is really carb overload but oh so yummy!

Onion Time 30 minutes
Tomato Sauce Time 30 minutes
Koshari, Rice & Pasta Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours


Crispy Onion Topping

  • 1 large onion, sliced into thin rings
  • Salt
  • 1/3 cup (78 ml) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (125 ml) cooking oil

For Tomato Sauce

  • Neutral cooking oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½-1 tsp (2.5-5 ml) crushed red chili
  • 1 can 28-oz tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) of sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp. (12.5-25 ml) (white vinegar

For Koshari

  • 1½ cup (375 ml) brown lentils
  • 1½ cup (375 ml) medium-grain rice, rinsed, soaked in water for 15 minutes, drained
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) each salt
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) each pepper
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) coriander
  • 2 cups (500 ml) elbow pasta
  • Neutral cooking oil
  • Water
  • 1 15-oz can of chickpeas, rinsed, drained, and warmed


Make the crispy onion topping

  1. Sprinkle the onion rings with salt, then toss them in the flour to coat.
  2. Shake off excess flour.
  3. In a large pan or flat pot, heat the cooking oil over medium-high heat, and cook the onion rings, stirring often, until they turn a nice, caramelized brown.
  4. Onions must be crispy, but not burned (15-20 minutes).

Make the Tomato Sauce

  1. In a saucepan, heat 1 tbsp cooking oil.
  2. Add the grated onion, and cook on medium-high until the onion turns a translucent gold (do not brown).
  3. Now add the garlic, coriander, and red pepper flakes, if using, and saute briefly until fragrant (30-45 seconds more).
  4. Stir in tomato sauce and a pinch of salt.
  5. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens (15 minutes or so).
  6. Stir in the distilled white vinegar and turn the heat to low.
  7. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

Make the Koshari

  1. Cook the lentils.
  2. Bring lentils and 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot or saucepan over high heat.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and cook until lentils are just tender (15-17 minutes).
  4. Drain from water and season with a little salt.
  5. **Note: when the lentils are ready, they should not be fully cooked. They should be only par-cooked and still have a bite to them as they need to finish cooking with the rice).

Now, for the rice

  1. Drain the rice from its soaking water.
  2. Combine the par-cooked lentils and the rice in the saucepan over medium-high heat with 1 tbsp cooking oil, salt, pepper, and coriander.
  3. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring regularly.
  4. Add warm water to cover the rice and lentil mixture by about 1½ inches (you'll probably use about 3 cups of water here).
  5. Bring to a boil; the water should reduce a bit.
  6. Now cover and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed and both the rice and lentils are well cooked through (about 20 minutes).
  7. Keep covered and undisturbed for 5 minutes or so.

Now make the pasta

  1. While the rice and lentils are cooking, make the pasta according to the package
    instructions by adding the elbow pasta to boiling water with a dash of salt and
    a little oil.
  2. Cook until the pasta is al dente.
  3. Drain.
  4. Cover the chickpeas and warm in the microwave briefly before serving.

Put it All Together!

  1. To serve, fluff the rice and lentils with a fork and transfer them to a serving
  2. Top with the elbow pasta and ½ of the tomato sauce, then the chickpeas, and finally ½ of the crispy onions for garnish.
  3. Serve, passing the remaining sauce and crispy onions separately.


Prepared, tried, and tested by Khadija from The Recipe Hunter: Tried  and Tested Recipes from Home Chefs

I hope you will have a go at this one and when you tested and made this recipe, please will you be so kind as to visit the post and give it a rating and review, please and thank you. You can also share it on Instagram and mention @_EsmeSalon or tag #shareEScare

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 311Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 10mgSodium 727mgCarbohydrates 46gFiber 8gSugar 8gProtein 14g

EsmeSalon provides approximate nutrition information for your convenience and as a courtesy only. Please note that all nutrition data is congregated by online calculators. Nutrition information can vary for a recipe, and we strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but can not guarantee or provide any assurances regarding its accuracy. We encourage readers to make their own estimates based on the ingredients used, and by using your own and preferred nutrition calculator. The author(s) of EsmeSalon are not dietitians or nutritionists. Any recommendations shall not be construed as medical or nutritional advice. You are fully responsible for any actions you take and any consequences that occur because of anything you read on this website. The website or content herein is not intended to cure, prevent, diagnose, or treat any disease. Please consult your health care provider regarding any health-related decisions.

Did you make this recipe?

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This Egyptian Koshary is a huge comfortable bowl of lentils, rice, and chickpeas, with a delicious tomato sauce and savory crispy onions on top! This is really a HUGE carb overload but oh so yummy.

Khadija said: Koshari is not something you want to eat weekly or even monthly if you’re watching your figure. I look at a plate of it and I gain 10kgs. Hope you will nevertheless try it and treat yourself to this outstanding-looking meal!

Egyptian Koshary, Kushari or Koshari

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