Koshari: A Layered Egyptian Khichdi Of Many Flavours
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Koshari is considered the national dish of Egypt and for a good reason. The dish is truly unique as it brings together, in one plate, rice, pasta, and lentil. It is topped with cooked chickpeas and enhanced with spicy tomato sauce and garlic vinegar sauce, made more delicious with the addition of crispy onions. Though a carbohydrate-heavy dish, Koshari is satiating and is vegan too, making it a guilt-free indulgence. 

It is, however, a time-consuming dish to prepare, requiring attention to detail, but it is worth the effort. Here is the recipe for Koshari. 


  • 8-9 tomatoes
  • 250 gms brown lentil
  • 250 gms macaroni
  • 215 gms dried chickpeas
  • 3 cups of medium sized grain rice
  • 3 cups of vermicelli
  • 8 onions
  • 2 big garlic
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 lemon 
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar 
  • 6-7 tsps of salt (or as per taste preference)
  • 6 tsps ground cumin
  • 1 ½ tsps black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground coriander


  • Soak dried chickpeas in a bowl of water overnight 
  • Drain the chickpeas and put it in a pan of boiling water
  • Chop an onion into half 
  • To the boiling chickpea, add one tomato, the two onion halves, and 2 garlic cloves
  • Then add 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • Allow the above mixture boil for an hour or two hours
  • In the meantime, cook the lentils by first putting to boil 2 litres of water
  • To the boiling water, add the lentils and 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Let the above mixture cook for 30 minutes to an hour, but ensure it doesn't get too mushy
  • Strain the lentils and keep aside. Keep aside the lentil water
  • To make the tomato sauce, in a pan heat on medium or low flame 4 tablespoons of oil
  • To the pan, add crushed 6 garlic cloves and fry for about 3 to 4 minutes
  • Before the garlic turns brown, add 4 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • Add 3 crushed tomatoes 
  • Add 1 teaspoon salt and a little bit of pepper
  • Let it boil on low to medium flame for 30 minutes until the mixture thickens
  • The spicy tomato sauce is made with sliced green chillies, which are added to a pan of 4 tablespoons of oil put on medium to low flame, to which 5 cloves of minced garlic is added. All of these are lightly fried. 
  • Then 2 tablespoons of white vinegar are added and the pot deglazed. 
  • Then 400 grams of chopped tomatoes are added and the mixture is simmered together for 15-20 minutes until it thickens
  • For the garlic vinegar sauce, crush 6 garlic cloves, then to the crushed garlic add ½ teaspoon white vinegar, ⅓ cup of water, ¼ teaspoon lime juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon coriander, ½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt and mix together to make a sauce
  • Then for the crispy onions, slice two onions into thin strips, put it in a bowl, to which 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon black pepper and 2 teaspoons of salt are added. 
  • Mix together and keep aside for half an hour or an hour. Then deep fry the onion slice mixture for 8 to 10 minutes till totally browned and crispy, and place on paper towels to drain excess oil
  • For the Koshari base, firstly, wash the rice well and let it dry for an hour. Then remove the oil from the pan in which the onions were fried, then fry the leftover onion slices till it turns light brown. 
  • Then add the vermicelli and fry on high heat till it turns golden brown. Add the dried rice to the vermicelli. Then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce to the pan. 
  • Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of the garlic vinegar sauce and mix well. Then add the lentil water and add a few cups of water until the rice and vermicelli are just about covered. 
  • Then cover the pan and let it boil until most of the water evaporates, then put on low heat and let it steam for 20-30 minutes. 
  • In a separate pot, cook the macaroni in salted water. 
  • Then add the cooked macaroni to the rice and vermicelli combination and mix it well
  • Serve in the following way: First, place a thick layer of the Koshari base, then over the base put 4-5 spoonfuls of tomato sauce.

Then add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the garlic vinegar sauce over the tomato sauce, then add a few chickpeas in the next layer, add the fried onion slices. Serve the Koshari hot.