Egyptian Koshari

Koshari is an Egyptian staple and I sure do love it.  I have heard it told that on Richard Nixon's Presidential trip to Egypt, he found Koshari and Belly Dancing to be his favorite experiences in the land of Pharaohs.  I in part agree, I sure do love Egyptian food and it is part of what I love about my Egyptian travels.  It is a pretty amazing concoction that is considered the National Dish of Egypt. We make Koshari at home, I will say that Ayman (my fiance) and his brother Girgis always make it waaay to hot.  Which is a shame, because, it is so delicious and you just want to scarf it down.  There are many restaurants in Egypt that serve Koshari, it is traditionally served with fried onions on top, we skip that part because we aren't cool and Ayman doesn't like it.   This is the recipe I learned from Aymans mom and the recipe we enjoy at home.  I hope it brings a bit of Egypt into your home and you enjoy it as much as we do.
16 oz. Elbow Macaroni Noodles
2 Cups White Rice
1 Cup Brown Lentils
1 15 0z. Can of Chick Peas
Water for Rice and Lentils about 24 oz.
2, 6 oz cans of Tomato Paste
1 tsp. Black Pepper
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 cup olive oil
Water for tomato sauce
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 Cup White Vinegar
1 Jalepeno, chopped
Prepare the Lentils:
  • Place the lentils in a dish and pick over them to remove any rocks or debris.
  • Rinse under cold water and drain
  • Place the lentils in a medium saucepan and add 2 cups of cold water.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to simmer.
  • Cook for about 45 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Drain if necessary and set aside.
For the Sauce:
  • Put olive oil in a medium sized sauce pan, heat over medium low heat.
  • Add the 5 cloves of crushed garlic and saute for several minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic.
  • Add the vinegar and let simmer for about a minute.
  • Next add the tomato paste to the vinegar and garlic and stir well, refill 1 of the tomato paste cans 4 times and add the water to the tomato sauce.  It should be about 24 oz. of water or a 2:1 water to tomato paste ratio. Stir well.
  • Finally, add the jalepeno, salt and black pepper.
  • Let the sauce simmer and reduce until it has thickened a bit.  About 15 minutes.
The Rest:
  • Boil your Macaroni and cook until just tender.
  • Make your rice.
  • Drain you 2 cans of chick peas
To Build your Koshari:
  • Place a layer of pasta in the bottom of a single dish, top with a layer of rice followed by a layer of lentils and finally a few chick peas maybe 10-20 per dish.
  • Top the dish with the tomato sauce (and fried onions if you are awesome!) and serve immediately!  This dish is Helwa Awy! (Arabic for Very Good!!!)

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