Sunday, April 18, 2021

Egyptian Kushari

Kushari is Egypt's national food. Also it is the famous street food in Egypt. This is so tasty and delicious. All the elements of comfort are there in one single food. Rice, vermicelli, pasta, lentils, garbanzos, all flavored with tomato sauce, cumin water and topped with crunchy onions. Now that is called comfort in a bowl. No wonder this street food is the national dish.

This dish has layers of comfort food. Typically, they add rice in the center, add the garbanzos around. Next top the rice with pasta and vermicelli, followed by lentils, tomato sauce, cumin water, and fried onions and served. Instead, it can be arranged decoratively and served too. The cumin water is also called Kumineyeah which adds a phenomenal flavor to the dish. Never miss on that.

This may look like a lot of pans and pots used - not like - IT IS! But it is all worth. We loved it so much and the kids also requested to make it again. When you make this, it is better to start with frying onions. The oil from the fried onions is used in all the other parts of the recipe preparation. This oil adds immense flavor. When onion gets fried, start on the rice, and lentils. Canned garbanzos can also be used. 

I followed this recipe from Amira's Pantry. The only change is that I have used fresh tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes and used basmati rice. Kushari is made with regular short grain rice. My kids love basmati and hence used it. Feel free to use short grain rice too.

I am linking this recipe for Blogging Marathon 121. My theme for this marathon is A-Z noodles from around the world. Below are the links for the other recipes shared earlier in this series.

I am also linking this to Full Plate Thursday, and Sundays on Silverado.

Serves 8 people

For frying onions

Onions - 4 cups, sliced
Oil - 1.5 cups

For the Vermicelli

Vermicelli - 1 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2-3 tbsp (oil used for frying onions)
Water - 1 cup

For the Pasta

Pasta - 1 cup, small shape
Salt - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp

For the rice

Rice - 1 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp (oil used for frying onions)
Water - 2 cups

For the Garbanzo beans

Garbanzo beans - 1 cup
Water - 3 cups
Salt - 3/4 tsp

For the lentils

Lentils - 1 cup
Water - 3 cups
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Tomatoes - 1.5 cups, chopped
Onion - 1/2 cup, chopped
Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp (oil used for frying onions)

For the tomato sauce

Tomatoes - 3 cups, chopped
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Cayenne pepper - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp (oil used for frying onion)
Garlic - 1 tsp, finely chopped
Vinegar - 1 tbsp

For Cumin water or dressing

Oil - 1 tbsp (oil used for frying onions)
Garlic - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1.5 tsp
Water - 2 tbsp
Vinegar - 2 tbsp
Salt - 1/8 tsp


Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan or a cast-iron pan. Add the sliced onions and sprinkle a little salt and fry till crisp and golden brown. Drain. It will crisp a little further when left for a few minutes.

Soak the garbanzos for 8 hours. Rinse and drain. Pressure cook with three cups water and salt. Drain and set aside.

Wash the rice, cook with water, oil used for frying onions and salt. Set aside.

Heat oil form the fried onions in a pan. Roast the vermicelli. Add water, salt, and cook till tender but not mushy. Set aside.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, drizzle a little oil and set aside.

Cook the lentils in 3cups water. By about 17-20 minutes, they will be tender. Add the tomato puree, salt, cumin powder, and cayenne. Continue to simmer till all the liquid gets absorbed.

For the tomato sauce: Heat oil, fry the garlic. Add the tomato puree, salt, and cayenne. Continue to simmer till it reduces to half. This may take around 10-15 minutes. Set aside.

Heat oil in a pan, add the garlic and stir fry for a minute. Add the cumin powder. Add it to water. Mix with salt and vinegar. Set aside.

To assemble: Add the rice in the center with garbanzos around. Add in the pasta and vermicelli on top of rice. Next ladle lentils and add the tomato sauce and cumin dressing.

Top with crispy onions and serve immediately.


  1. We all love koshari and that caramelized onion is our favorite and we fight over it every time. The recipe is so easy to make and thanks for sharing it.

    1. This is a delicious bowl and we too love fried onions on top. Thanks, Sandhya!

  2. Good to see koshari here, such a filling meal. Totally agree with sandhya! The onion is definitely our favorite part. I like the sauce too.

  3. Good to see koshari here, such a filling meal. Totally agree with sandhya! The onion is definitely our favorite part. I like the sauce too.

  4. Wow! This recipe has so many layers and sounds so flavorful. I am sure my kids will love it.

    1. Yes, everyone will love it and I can guarantee for that. Thanks, Harini!

  5. Wow koshari looks totally inviting, that crispy onion topping, needless to say it is everybody's favorite!!! Looks delish!

  6. This recipe is on my to do list since a very long time- I simply love the way the dish is assembled. Looks fantastic and yes, thanks for the reminder, will try this weekend itself.

  7. Kushari looks so scrumptious and with all the ingredients it must be so flavorful and perfect treat

  8. Wow this is surely such an elaborate the step by step pictures, will surely help us..

  9. I was wondering what your E dish is going t be. This is a delicious one. I remember trying it once and loving it.