I’m singing ‘carbs’ to Rihanna’s ‘Work’ if you didn’t get that. Koshari is apparently the national dish of Egypt, and it’s right up my street: pasta and rice, and lentils, and chickpeas, all hanging out together beneath a canopy of spiced tomato sauce, studded with sweet raisins and fresh lemon zest. It’s traditionally topped with dried crispy onions, but I don’t really like onions and don’t have a deep fat fryer anyway. I’ve also added way more veggies and some greens to the sauce to freshen it up a bit. This isn’t exactly traditional, but it’s an absolutely gorgeous and crowd-pleasing dish, which works really well as a packed lunch the next day.
Ready in 40 minutes
- 100g macaroni pasta
- 120g dried green lentils
- 150g rice
- 1 tin of chickpeas
- Half an onion
- 1 big carrot or 2 small ones
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- A big handful of fresh spinach (you could also use frozen, but defrost it before adding)
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. dried chilli
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 50g raisins or sultanas
- Zest and juice of half a lemon
- Whizz your carrot and onion in a food processor, or finely chop. Place a large pan on a medium heat with a splash of oil, and add the veg. Fry for about 7-8 minutes until soft and a little golden.
- Add the spices and chilli and stir over the heat for a minute more, before adding the tinned tomatoes, raisins, and lemon zest (the juice is for later). Simmer for 15-20 minutes until thickened, adding a splash of water if it gets too thick.
- Now you need to cook your rice, lentils and pasta. It’s best to do this according to packet instructions, but FYI, I cooked my pasta separately in salted water for about 8 minutes, and cooked the lentils in a separate pan of salted water for 15 minutes, adding the rice after the first 5 minutes.
- Once all the lentils, rice and pasta are cooked, add to a large serving dish with the drained chickpeas.
- Return to your sauce: add in the spinach and lemon juice, and cook for a minute more.
- Transfer to another serving dish and bring the sauce and carbs to the table, allowing people to scoop up as much deliciousness as they want.