How To Make Koshary

Feb 13, 2012 2:01 pm

The step-by-step guide to classic Egyptian Koshary

This Egyptian classic is a carb-on-carb delight that includes all of our favorites staples: rice, lentils, chickpeas and macaroni. Together. Yes, that's right. If you thought it couldn't get any better than Japan's Great Carb Gift to Mankind, it just did, thanks to Egypt. 

Ghalia Mahmoud, Egypt's cook of the revolution, shares her favorite technique for how to make Koshary.

Read They Call Her The Egyptian Rachael Ray about Mahmoud on Food Republic.

Photo: <a href="">midEATS</a> on Flickr
Photo: midEATS on Flickr
Top koshary with fried onion for crunchy contrast.
Servings: 6


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups white rice
3 cups water
1 package (16-ounce) elbow macaroni
5 onions chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup French lentils, soaked in water overnight
1 3/4 cup garbanzo beans (or 1 14-ounce can), If using dry garbanzo beans, soak overnight
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons vinegar
3/4 cup tomato paste
  1. After soaking the lentils overnight, rinse well under cold water. Bring four cups of water to a boil and add the lentils. Boil for 5 minutes then add the rice. Cover and allow to simmer on low heat for about half an hour or until the rice is cooked. Set aside. 
  2. Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook uncovered to an al dente bite. Drain well in a colander. Return the macaroni to the empty pot and cover to keep warm.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet and add the chopped onion. Cook over medium heat until the onion begins to brown, then add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute. 
  4. After the onion has browned, remove 3 tablespoons of garlic-onion mixture and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve this for the garnish
  5. Mix in the vinegar with the rest of the mixture in the pot.
  6. Add the spices, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, cumin, cayenne and red pepper flakes.
  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer about 12 minutes. Keep half a cup of boiling water on hand while cooking and add as much as needed along the way so that you end up with sauce-like consistency
  8. If using dry garbanzo beans, drain (after soaking overnight) and boil for one hour with 4 cups of water. If using canned beans, then rinse them thoroughly.
  9. Serve by placing a spoonful of rice, then macaroni, then lentils, followed by the garbanzo beans. Top the dish with the tomato sauce and garnish with fried onion. 

More Egyptian favorites from Food Republic: The Egyptian Ful Sandwich

Level of Difficulty: 
Prep Time: 
30 minutes + overnight soaking
Cooking Time: 
1 hour
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