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meatless monday: kosherie

September 6, 2010

Full disclosure to this recipe: this created more dishes than I knew I had.  With some different planning, I imagine this could have been minimized, but given that I didn’t prepare anything in advance, I had all four burners on my stove going at once.  No easy feat in my tiny kitchen.  And while the dish itself is enjoyable, I’d think twice about making it on a day where I don’t feel like doing dishes.

My first exposure to kosherie was in Cairo where we had a quick layover en route someplace else.  We took a day to see the pyramids and a second to do a guided tour of Cairo.  Our guide ended the tour in a small cafe where she ordered us a plate of kosherie and a mint lemonade.  It was a fantastic meal and one that has stayed with me.  Having the chance to recreate that home was exciting.  Granted, I don’t think this really came close to the one we had on the road, but then again, I always think that half of the enjoyment of these meals is being there.

street in cairo

from Moosewood’s New Classics


  • 3/4 cup lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt

hot sauce

  • 4 cups coarsely chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 fresh green chile, chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 4 cups thinkly sliced small onions
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 quarts salted water
  • 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni (or other noodles you may have around)


  1. In a small covered saucepan, bring the lentils, water and salt to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until tender, about 40 minutes.  Once done, drain water not absorbed by lentils.
  2. While the lentils cook, puree tomatoes, garlic, chili, oil, vinegar and salt in a blender.  Transfer to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until thick–about 20-25 minutes.  Stir occasionally.
  3. Now, start cooking the rice.  Warm the oil for the rice in a sauce pan on medium-high heat.  Add rice, water and salt.  Cover and bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer on very low heat until water is absorbed–about 15 minutes.
  4. While the rice is cooking, pour about 1/2 inch of oil into a pan (preferably non-stick or cast-iron to avoid sticking).  ON high heat, warm the oil until very hot.  Add half the onion and fry until brown (not light brown)–about 10 minutes.  Keep a careful eye on these.  They go from brown to black very quickly.
  5. Repeat with the rest of the onions.
  6. As you fry the second batch of onion, bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta (you should have a free burner because your hot sauce and rice should be done).
  7. Cook the pasta per directions. and drain.
  8. To serve, mix hot sauce, lentils, rice and pasta together.  Top with fried onions.
3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 7, 2010 4:19 pm

    I just had Koshary in Egypt a few weeks ago for the first time and am a convert now 🙂 That’s why I am so happy you posted a recipe! The combination of rice, lentils, and pasta sounds so weird, but this carb-fest is a new must when I go to Egypt again. Soooo good! One question… I had some quickpeas in mine when we bought it at a fast food place in Cairo. Do you think that was just a thing they added?

    • September 7, 2010 6:41 pm

      I always feel a little guilty about a dish with two carbs, but I couldn’t pass this one up. To be honest, I’m no expert on Eygptian food, but the place our tour guide took us seemed like a pretty legit, tradition Egyptian restaurant and it did not include peas. Perfectly feasible that it’s a common addition though. I say, add some to try to recreate that experience in Cairo.

      • September 9, 2010 11:53 pm

        Maybe the chickpeas (I don’t know how I could misspell that into quickpeas :)) were just a local addition of that place (Felfela in downtown Cairo). Who knows! I am sure it is just as good without and am looking forward to trying your recipe.

        I agree on the carbs… pretty scary. But once in a while once can splurge, I say 🙂

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