Our attempt at making Egyptian dish Koshari 

Koshari is a national Egyptian dish made with lentils, pasta, rice and chickpeas (optional) covered in a tangy, vinegary tomato sauce. It’s an easy vegetarian dish to make, but time consuming.

Stephen and I wanted to make this after enjoying the dish at Abou Tarek in Cairo. After reviewing numerous recipes and asking Egyptian friends for their recipe, here’s what we made using ingredients we found in Southern California, specifically at Sprouts and Ralph’s market.

Shopping list:

  • 1 cup lentils
  • 2 cups of dry ditalini pasta (or macaroni pasta)
  • 1 cup of dry spaghetti, broken up
  • Large can of crushed tomatoes
  • Regular can of tomato sauce
  • Tomato paste (to thicken if necessary)
  • Chickpeas (also known as Garbanzo beans)
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Fried onions (you can make your own but we cheated and got canned ones)
  • Vinegar, salt, pepper, cumin
  • Optional: Vegetable broth to use instead of water

Dice the onion. In a medium to large saucepan sweat the onion slightly. Add 1 cup lentils, fold into the onions, add 4 cups vegetable broth (or water). Simmer 20 minutes.


Remove from heat, drain, set aside.

Meanwhile in another pot cook the pasta. I used 2 cups of Ditalini and roughly a cup of spaghetti (broken up). Cooked according to package (roughly 10-12 minutes), drain, set aside.

Cook the 2 cups of rice according to package. Set aside. We cheated and got the premade rice, which you heat and serve, and added to the pasta before draining.

Make the Sauce
Empty can of crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce in pan, add few cloves of crushed garlic, 3-4 tbsp vinegar, add salt, pepper, cumin to taste.


Simmer the sauce for 15-20 minutes. Taste and add more vinegar or seasoning if desired. If too thin, add tomato paste to thicken.

Prepare dish by adding the lentils, pasta, rice and can of garbanzo beans. Top with sauce, and garnish with fried onions. Mix and serve.  This recipe is shown served in a 32 cup Tupperware. Serves 8-10 people as a side dish.
Prep time: 10 min.

Cook time: 1-1/2 hours

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