The Traditional Egyptian Staple- Koshari
Image Credit: Pinterest

This Egyptian national meal, also known as Koshari or Kushari, is made with rice, pasta, lentils, tomato sauce, and a variety of spices and seasonings. Though it is not well-known in the culinary world, it is a highly popular Egyptian delicacy.  

According to certain sources, many people believe that Koshari originated in India and is an Egyptian term for the Indian dish 'Khichdi,' which was brought to Egypt by British travelers in the 18th century. Koshari is an unusual combination that is very affordable as well as wholesome, earning it the nickname ‘poor man's food’. This dish is a staple in Egypt, and you can readily find it because it is sold by every street vendor around the block.  

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According to some sources, this meal was first sold on food carts many years ago, and as it got famous, restaurant owners adopted the recipe and began selling it in their establishments.  Many people added their own twists to this dish based on their personal preferences. In Egyptian households, Koshari is as common as 'Dal chawal' in Indian homes. As a result, it is extremely important to them and serves as a source of comfort for all Egyptians.  

Originally, this dish consisted of lentils, rice, pasta, vinegar, garlic, and tomato sauce, but many Egyptians have added chickpeas, hot sauce, and spaghettis to make their own variations. 

Despite the fact that it mostly consists of rice, it is frequently referred to as a mixed macaroni meal due to the enormous amount of macaroni used. The flavour is similar to a Mediterranean dish due to the unusual combination of spices, oils, vinegar, and lemon juice.  The best aspect about this dish is that it doesn't require any meat or chicken to prepare, as a result, it is also suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Many individuals are going vegan these days, and koshari is an ideal dish for them. Though Koshari is a little tricky to duplicate at home because it contains some unusual ingredients such as tomato sauce, which isn't just any tomato sauce but a blend of a particular unique spice known as 'Baharat.'  

Black pepper, cardamom, cloves, cumin, nutmeg powder, coriander, and paprika are all part of the Baharat spice blend. This spice blend is a standout component not only in Koshari, but also in other Mediterranean meals. 

 People are going out of their way to try new and unusual meals and dishes in order to expand their culinary horizons, and many are attempting to duplicate those recipes at home.  You may always try to make Koshari at home, but if you don't have the ingredients, you can always have khichdi, which is quite similar and dear to our heart.