Classic Egyptian Koshary

By shahdan • April 8, 2016

4 servings
30 min
Classic Egyptian Koshary

Koshary is one of the most famous Egyptian street food. It is basically a plate full of rice, pasta, lentils, chickpeas, fried onions and garlicky sauces. It is cheap, tasty and filling. It also makes a great meal for vegans.

People tend not to cook koshary at home very often, because its recipe consists of several layers and steps. It is actually easy to execute if you have all the ingredients ready in advance, like  cooked pasta, rice, lentils and chickpeas. Koshary makes a great meal for simple casual gatherings with family and friends, just served on its own.

I learned this basic recipe from Neamat, a typical Egyptian home cook. While she cooks her rice with onions, some people choose to cook it with traditional vermicelli (شعرية), instead.


  • 1 cup black lentils - عدس بجبة
  • 1 pack pasta (small koshary pasta) - معكرونة
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas - حمص
  • 2 cup rice - أرز
  • 5 medium onion - بصلة
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin - كمون
  • vegetable oil - زيت نباتي
  • red koshary daqqa: - دقة الكشري
  • 10 medium garlic cloves - فصوص ثوم
  • 360 gram tomato paste (1 glass jar) - معجون طماطم / صلصة طماطم
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin - كمون
  • 1 tablespoon sugar - سكر
  • 1/2 cup water - ماء
  • white koshary daqqa: - الدقة البيضاء للكشري
  • 6 medium garlic cloves - فصوص ثوم
  • 1/2 cup vinegar - خل
  • 1/2 cup water - ماء
  • salt and pepper (to taste) - ملح و فلفل

Step by step

  1. Soak the lentils and chickpeas separately overnight. Rinse each, cover with water in separate pots and cook until soft. Drain them from water.
  2. Add one tablespoon oil to black lentils, stir and set aside.
  3. Boil the pasta in plenty of water until soft. Drain and mix with 1 tablespoon oil. Set aside.
  4. To cook the rice, dice one onion only and fry it in 2 tablespoons oil until golden. Add 2 cups of washed rice and stir with the onions. Add 2 cups of water. When it comes to a boil, stir in cumin, cover and leave to cook on lowest heat for 30 minutes or until rice is cooked through.
  5. To cook the red tomato daqqa, fry minced garlic in 2 tablespoon oil. Add one jar of tomato paste. Fill half the empty jar with water and add to the sauce, then add cumin, sugar and salt to taste. When it comes to a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
  6. To prepare the white daqqa, fry minced garlic in 1 tablespoon oil until golden. Add white vinegar and water. Let the mixture boil for 10 minutes then set aside in a jar.
  7. Thinly slice the rest of the onions and fry in oil until golden. Sieve them out and place them on kitchen paper to get rid of excess oil. Set aside.
  8. To serve: add a layer of rice, followed by pasta, then lentils and chickpeas. Add a little red and a little white daqqa. Finish it off with some fried onions on top. Serve the rest of the daqqa and fried onions next to the Koshary plate for refills.


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