Enchanting Cairo Koshari


Embark on a culinary journey to the heart of Egypt with our Enchanting Cairo Koshari! This iconic Egyptian dish is a harmonious blend of lentils, rice, pasta, and chickpeas, all topped with a spicy tomato sauce and crispy fried onions. It's a vegetarian feast that's packed with flavor and texture, perfect for any time of the day.

Enchanting Cairo Koshari

Preparation and Cooking Times

  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Servings and Serving Size

  • Yields 6 servings
  • Serving Size: 1 hearty bowl

Nutritional Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 420 kcal
  • Total Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 300mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 75g
  • Dietary Fiber: 12g
  • Sugars: 8g
  • Protein: 15g


  • Brown lentils - 200 grams (7 ounces)
  • Medium-grain rice - 200 grams (7 ounces)
  • Small pasta (like elbow macaroni) - 200 grams (7 ounces)
  • Chickpeas, cooked or canned - 1 can (15 ounces)
  • Vegetable oil - for frying
  • Large onions, thinly sliced - 2
  • Garlic cloves, minced - 3
  • For the Tomato Sauce:
  • Canned tomatoes, crushed - 400 grams (14 ounces)
  • Garlic, minced - 2 cloves
  • Ground cumin - 1 teaspoon
  • Vinegar - 1 tablespoon
  • Chili powder - ½ teaspoon (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Detailed Method of Preparation

  1. Cook the lentils in boiling water until tender but still holding their shape, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook the rice in a separate pot with a little salt until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Boil the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  4. In a pan, heat some oil and fry the sliced onions until crispy and brown. Set aside on paper towels.
  5. For the tomato sauce, sauté the minced garlic in a saucepan. Add crushed tomatoes, cumin, vinegar, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.
  6. Combine the cooked lentils, rice, pasta, and chickpeas in a large bowl or dish.
  7. To serve, layer the koshari in a bowl - first the rice, lentils, and pasta mixture, then the tomato sauce, and top with crispy onions.

Tips for Culinary Success

  • Rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking to remove excess starch.
  • Ensure the lentils are not overcooked to avoid a mushy texture.
  • The tomato sauce should be flavorful and a bit spicy; adjust the seasonings to your preference.
  • The crispy onions add a crucial texture; fry them until they are just golden.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I add meat to this dish?

Koshari is traditionally vegetarian, but you can add cooked ground beef or lamb if desired.

Can I prepare koshari in advance?

Yes, but keep the components separate and assemble just before serving.

How can I store leftovers?

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Your Enchanting Cairo Koshari is a delightful tapestry of flavors and textures, ready to transport you to the bustling streets of Cairo. Each bite is a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Egypt. Gather around the table and share this heartwarming, flavorful dish with your loved ones!