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Bites fil Beit: Egyptian Koshary - Daily News Egypt

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Bites fil Beit: Egyptian Koshary

We love food. We love the real, down to earth, tried-and-tested, handed-down-through-the-generations, local Egyptian food. Here is your chance to learn how to make these local delicacies in your own home. And just so you know what to ask for, we have added how to say the ingredients in Arabic. No more excuses, off to the souq!


1 cup brown lentils – ads
2 cups rice – roz
1 bag of pasta, small and round – ma-ca-ro-na
half a cup of thin vermicelli – sha-rey-a
¼ kilo of chickpeas – hom-mos sha-mi
4 large onions – ba-sal
4 medium tomatoes – ta-ma-tem
1 tsp tomato sauce – sal-sa ta-ma-tem
1 tsp garlic, crushed – toom
3 tbsp vinegar – khall
2 tbsp cumin – ka-moon
salt – malh
corn oil – zeit do-ra

– Wash the lentils well, dry and clean from impurities. Boil the lentils in two cups of water until soft. Leave the lentils in the water until they are ready for use.
– Cut the onions in very thin slices and fry in a minimum amount of oil until just golden brown. Spoon the fried onions out of the pan and spread out on paper towels, make sure they do not stick together.
– Pour the oil from the onions in a deep pan and add the boiled lentils without the water. Fry the lentils until they have the signature semi-gray colour. Add water and half a tsp of salt and the washed rice. Mix the rice and lentils well and make sure they are covered by the water. Reduce the heat and simmer until the rice is cooked.
– Boil the chickpeas in water with salt and 1 tsp of cumin in a separate pan until tender.
– Boil the pasta in water with salt for 25 minutes and strain.
– Heat a little oil in a pan and add the boiled pasta, stir on reduced heat for two minutes to make sure the pasta does not stick together.
– Fry the vermicelli in a little oil until it turns golden. Add boiling water and salt and cover and cook until soft.

Preparing tomato sauce
Blend 3 tomatoes in a blender with 1/4 cup water.
In a small saucepan, heat 2 tbsp corn oil over medium heat. Add ½ tsp crushed garlic, stirring frequently until golden. Add 1 tsp of vinegar. Add blended tomatoes, salt and pepper. Reduce heat and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.

Preparing garlic and vinegar sauce
Cut the last tomato into cubes and add salt, vinegar, cumin and the rest of the crushed garlic and water. You can use chopped red pepper instead of the tomato to make a spicier sauce.

Prepare the Koshary
Cover the bottom of a deep bowl with the pasta. Add the rice with lentils and vermicelli, followed by the chickpeas and the tomato sauce. Top it off with the fried onion and serve the garlic and vinegar sauce on the side.

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