Koshari (Egyptian Rice and Lentils)

Koshari (Egyptian Rice and Lentils)

This dish is one of my go to meatless dishes that I grew up with. We also usually had it for Easter on Good Friday. Rice mixed with green lentils, served with caramalized onions (the best part), and topped off with a spicy tangy tomato sauce! Traditionally, the onions are deep fried until crispy. But I love to just slowly cook them in a sauce pan big enough to hold the amount of sliced onions. 🙂 It takes longer this way of course. 

For the caramelized onions:

Now for the sauce!


For the Lentils:

1 1/2 cups green or brown lentils, rinsed and drained

1 tsp sea salt

For the Rice:

1 cup long grain white rice

1 tbsp. butter

2 cups water

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp Arabic 7 spices or homemade Arabic spice,

1/4 tsp pepper

1 cup small shaped pasta, or 2 cup large shaped

For the caramelized onions:

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

4 cooking onions halved and sliced

1/2 tsp kosher sea salt

For the tomato sauce:

2 tbsp olive oil

4 garlic cloves minced

1-2 green (or red) finger chiles, chopped

2 cups of passata (tomato puree)

1/2 cup stock or water, more or less, depending on the consistency

1 small bay leaf

1 1/2  tsp sea salt, or to taste

1/4 tsp pepper, or to taste

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp sumac

2 tbsp white vinegar

1 tbsp unsalted butter


1.) Bring a small pan of water to a boil. Salt the water, add the pasta. Cook until pasta is done. Drain. Add to a large serving bowl.

Make the Rice:

2.) Melt butter in saucepan. Add rice. Stir until coated, 2min. Add salt, spice and water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, simmer for around 15 min, or until water is absorbed. Let sit, still covered, for 5 more minutes with heat off. Transfer rice to the large bowl with the pasta.

Make the Lentils:

3.) In a saucepan, add lentils. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Then simmer gently for around 15min, or until lentils are tender. Drain. Add to large bowl with the rice and pasta. Add the 1 tsp sea salt.

Make the caramelized onions:

4.) In a large saute pan, heat oil. Add the sliced onions. Cover the pan, to quicken the process, stirring occasionally for around 20 -30 min, or until onions have a deep golden brown color.  Mix around 3/4 of the onions into the rice and lentil mix, leaving some for topping individual bowls. 

Make the sauce:

5.) In a pan, heat olive oil. Add minced garlic, and chopped chilies. 1-2min. Add tomato puree, stock, and all the spices. Simmer for about 10min. Stir in vinegar and butter. Simmer until butter is melted into sauce. Serve on top of rice and lentils in bowls, and top with remaining caramelized onions. If it’s too thick, add a bit more stock. 

You can also used store-bought crunchy fried onions if you don’t want to do the caramelized onions.


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