Kushari: Egyptian Lentil Rice with spicy tomato sauce

Kushari is a traditional Egyptian dish. I guess you could say that it is the Prince of Egyptian Cuisine (with falafel and fool being the King and Queen)

This is a lovely recipe to add to your repetoir, highly requested and easy to make!


For the kushari rice

3/4 cup brown lentils : soaked for at least 30 mins

1.5 cups rice soaked (I used basmati, but traditionally short grain rice is used)

2 large brown onions: sliced

salt and black pepper for seasoning

1 tsp each corriander, cumin and garam masala powder (optional)

oil for frying the onions

For the tomato sauce (called da’ah):

1 large tomato pureed (0.5 cup) (alternatively use an extra tablespoon of tomato paste and add a pinch of sugar to cut the acidity)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

3 tablespoons white vinegar

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder (to taste)

2 large cloves of garlic: crushed

optional: pinch of cumin, corriander and garam masala powders

To make:

Fry the onions in some oil on medium heat for about 15 mins, stirring regularly, until the onions are soft and deep golden brown in colour. Reserve half the onions for garnish. Add soaked lentils with the onions and add some water to cook. Season well with salt and pepper. When the lentils are almost done, add spices, salt, water and soaked rice. Cover and cook until the rice is done.

For the sauce, fry off the crushed garlic in some oil. Add the pureed tomatoes and fry off until cooked. Add tomato paste, vinegar, chilli, salt and pepper and cook until all the tomato paste is cooked out. you may add water to achieve desired consistency.

To serve the kushari, place the rice topped with sauce and caramalised onions. You may also add some cooked macaroni pasta and chickpeas.


2 thoughts on “Kushari: Egyptian Lentil Rice with spicy tomato sauce

  1. Interesting, I’ve never tried koshery with basmati, does it change the taste at all? When I make it I do 1/2c cup lentils and 1 1/2 rice, I quite like that ratio, although thinking about it now, more lentils would make it healthier. I make my sauce differently, but I think you can play around with the sauce as you like. Also, is there any reason you didnt include the pasta? I havent made this for a while, I think I will make it soon insha’allah.

  2. I used basmati because I dont usually buy short grain rice. I dont think the flavour changes, you just get fluffier rice.

    The ratio is an individual thing. I think 1:2 works fine or even 1:3 like you used. Personally I just grab a handful of lentils and dont really measure!

    I think this is how most people make the sauce, how do you do it?

    I am not a huge fan of pasta with my koshari, I just keep it simple. Not a huge pasta fan in general.

    And I have a super craving for this now since I made it last week. It is one of those dishes you dismiss and dont make too often despite being so easy and delicious!

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