Egyptian Koshari

A wonderful blend of rice, lentils and pasta in a spicy, tangy tomato sauce.  Chilli. Stew. Egyptian!

 Course Main Course
 Cuisine Egyptian
 Cook Time 50 minutes
 Servings 6


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup brown basmati rice or any medium grain rice. If you are using white grain rice, the cooking time will be less than stated below. Adjust accordingly
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water (enough water to cover the rice by a good inch)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 cup brown lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup brown rice macaroni or any whole grain small pasta, or even gf pasta
  • 1 garlic clove quartered
  • 1 bay leaf


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 29 oz (796 ml) can of San Marzano tomatoes crush the tomatoes with your fingers and use all the juice in the can
  • 2 tsp or up to 1 tbsp baharat spice blend see Notes below
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper

Frizzled Onion Garnish

  • 1 large onion finely sliced (top to tail direction)
  • 1/4 cup AP flour
  • oil for frying
  • 2 tsp baharat for final toss before serving
  • 1 tsp hot chilli flakes optional, for final toss before serving


  1. This is a dish that is all about assembling. The various starches can be prepared while the tomato sauce is simmering. If you are using brown rice, you will want to start this before the tomato sauce. Keep them warm, covered in their various pots, or in oven safe bowl and tin foil in a low temp oven, if you only have a couple of saucepans. As each ingredient is ready you can keep adding it to this bowl.

  2. RICE

    Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in med saucepan over med-high heat. Add the rice and stir. Add ground cumin and stir to cover with oil. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the stock or water and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 30 minutes, or until rice is tender. (If you are using a different style rice, cooking time will be reduced) Strain any excess water. Cover and set aside. (or add to the bowl to be placed in the oven) And if you have a rice cooker, well, fabulous!

  3. SAUCE

    Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in med saucepan over med-high heat. Add onion and saute till golden, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and saute 1 minute longer.

  4. Add tomatoes and juices, spice blend, chilli flakes and vinegar. Bring to a simmer, cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, with the lid off to allow for the sauce to thicken. Season with salt and pepper, and add more seasonings to taste. I like more rather than less!

    Rinse the lentils under cold water and add them to another saucepan with at least 1 1/2 cups water or stock. Add the quartered garlic and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes till tender. Add more liquid if the lentils are soaking it all up- they should be covered until tender. Drain any excess liquid and season with salt and pepper. Add to the bowl of rice in the oven.

  6. Cook the macaroni according to the package you are using. Only cook till al dente. Strain and toss with a little olive oil. Add to the bowl of rice and lentils in the oven. Cover with foil.

    Take sliced onions and toss in a bowl with just enough flour to cover.

  8. Fill saute or saucepan with about 3/4″ of oil. Heat to med-high.
  9. Take small handfuls of onions, shaking off excess flour, and gently place into the oil. Fry until golden (this should take about 2-3 minutes, but watch), turning occasionally.
  10. Remove to paper-towel lined plate, sprinkle with salt. Continue until all the onions are done.
  11. Alternatively you can toss the finished onions in a tbsp of dukkah spice blend for added Egyptian flavours!

  12. TO SERVE

    Place the rice, lentils and pasta into a large bowl with a sprinkling of the baharat, chilli flakes (optional) and a tbsp or so of olive oil. Toss to combine.

    Either take this combo and put it onto a serving platter or put into individual bowls. Top with tomato sauce and then garnish with the frizzled onions.

Recipe Notes

This recipe serves 6-8 easily.

Baharat Spice Blend (will keep for up to six months) This makes about two cups, so you may want to halve, depending on your cooking style. This can be used in all sorts of dishes, or spice rubs, giving any dish an Arabic twist!
4 tbsp cracked pepper
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp ground coriander
2 tbsp ground cloves
3 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cardamom
4 tsp ground nutmeg
4 tbsp paprika
Combine well. Store in airtight jar and keep away from sunlight


Recipes From Nature

Hi, I’m Nina! I'm a culinary school graduate sharing easy, healthy recipes rich in seasonal produce and whole foods. Let's get cooking!