Cairo's Comfort: Koshari (Rice with Crispy Onions and Tomato Sauce)

Feast on Cairo's Comfort, a heartwarming bowl of Koshari, Egypt's beloved street food symphony. This dish is a textural mosaic composed of tender lentils, rice, and macaroni, each grain and noodle soaking up the flavors of a rich, spiced tomato sauce. Crowned with golden, crispy onions that add a crunch in every bite, this Koshari recipe invites you into the bustling streets of Cairo with its comforting layers and depth of flavor.

Cairo's Comfort: Koshari (Rice with Crispy Onions and Tomato Sauce)

Preparation and Cooking Time

  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 30 minutes


  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Ideal Serving Size: 1 heaping bowl per serving

Nutritional Information per Serving

  • Calories: Approximately 550 kcal
  • Protein: 15 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 100 grams
  • Fat: 10 grams
  • Fiber: 8 grams
  • Sugar: 8 grams


  • Medium-grain rice: 200 grams
  • Brown lentils: 150 grams
  • Macaroni pasta: 150 grams
  • Cumin: 5 grams
  • Crispy fried onions: 50 grams
  • Olive oil: 30 ml
  • Tomato sauce:Fresh tomatoes, pureed: 400 grams
  • Garlic, minced: 15 grams
  • Cumin: 2 grams
  • Chili powder: 2 grams
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method of Preparation

  1. Cook lentils in boiling water until tender, then drain.
  2. Cook rice with cumin until fluffy and cook macaroni until al dente; set both aside.
  3. In a pan, heat olive oil, and sauté garlic, then add tomato puree and spices.
  4. Simmer the sauce until it thickens.
  5. Combine rice, lentils, and pasta in a serving dish.
  6. Top with the spiced tomato sauce and crispy onions.

Culinary Success Tips

  • Rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking to remove excess starch.
  • For crispy onions, slice them thinly and fry in hot oil until they are a deep golden brown.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley for a burst of color and flavor.

Anticipated FAQs

  • Can I use canned lentils? Yes, but adjust the cooking time as they are already cooked.
  • How can I make this gluten-free? Use rice or corn pasta instead of macaroni.
  • Is Koshari served hot or cold? It is traditionally served hot but can be enjoyed at room temperature as well.