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Koshari is a satisfying Egyptian dish combining rice, lentils, chickpeas and pasta - in this case short lengths of vermicelli. Everything is topped with tomato sauce and kamouneyah, a cumin and vinegar sauce. The finishing touch is plenty of crispy, fried onion rings. Don’t skip any element of the dish as they all play an essential role.

First published in 2023




Tomato sauce


Crispy onions

  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into rings
  • plain flour, for coating the onions

Rice and Pulses



Combine the onion and garlic cloves for the tomato sauce in a blender with a splash of water and whizz to a paste


Place a saucepan over a medium heat and, when hot, add a dash of olive oil. Add the onion and garlic mixture to the pan and cook, stirring, for around 5 minutes

  • olive oil, for cooking

Add the tomato purée and cook out for a minute or two, stirring. Add the tinned tomatoes to the pan with the sugar, and some salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a simmer, put a lid on the pan and cook for at least 30 minutes. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if needed


For the kamouneyah, heat a small frying pan over medium-low and add 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the grated garlic and ground cumin. Cook gently for a minute or so, taking care not to burn the garlic


Add the vinegar and water and season with salt. Bring to a simmer, then set aside

  • 50ml of vinegar
  • 50ml of water
  • salt

Make the crispy onions. Add vegetable oil to a high-sided frying pan to a depth of 0.5cm. Toss the onion rings in flour then cook in the oil until golden, working in batches to avoid crowding the pan. Drain on kitchen paper

  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into rings
  • plain flour, for coating the onions

Place the rice in a saucepan and cover with cold water and a pinch of salt - you can measure the correct amount of water by placing your thumb on top of the rice - the water should reach your cuticle. Bring to a boil then reduce to a very gentle simmer. Put the lid on and cook the rice for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat but leave the pan covered


Cook the vermicelli in boiling, salted water according to packet instructions. Once cooked, drain and add a little oil to the pasta to stop it sticking together


Warm the chickpeas and lentils through in separate saucepans


To assemble the dish, cover a large serving plate with the rice and top with the lentils and chickpeas, then the vermicelli. Spoon over the tomato sauce and drizzle the kamouneyah over the whole thing. Top with crispy onions to serve

First published in 2023

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