27 June, 2011

Egyptian Kushari...Vegetarian Delight

I've now had Kushari made for me a few times, and each time seems to get better and better.  Kushari is an Egyptian dish, and is almost always vegetarian (even Vegan), but it's becoming more popular to add shawarma chicken to the dish or to cook the rice in a chicken broth.  You could essentially make it any way that appeals to your taste buds and your family.  The tomato based sauce on top can be made without spice or with an added kick.  I prefer the added kick!  Here's how to make this delicious dish.

What you'll need:
3 large onions
1/2 C. oil (add more if needed)
1 C. lentils
6 C. water (or chicken or vegetable stock)
1 1/2 C. long grain rice or Egyptian rice (uncooked)
1 1/2 C. elbow macaroni (uncooked)
8 oz. vermacelli (uncooked)
1-2 cloves of garlic
1T. cumin
Salt (to taste)
1 bottle hot sauce
2 tomatoes chopped
1 chicken broth cube

1.  Chop the onions into small pieces.  I like fine slices like caramelized onion style.  Reserve 1 T. for the sauce later.  Pour 3 T. vegetable oil into a pan over medium high heat and add onions.  Add the onions in batches, frying until they reach a nice brown and slightly crunchy.  Watch carefully as this step will happen quickly!  Drain onto paper towels and set aside.

2.  Bring to a boil lentils in 6 C. of water or stock, along with 1 clove of garlic (quartered) and 1 T. cumin, simmer for 25 min. until cooked...drain, reserve water.

3.  Fry vermacelli in a pan with some oil until brown.

4.  Add the rice to a pot with the reserved lentil water, along with rice and fried vermacelli, and cook until rice is tender.

5.  In another pot, boil macaroni in lightly salted water until tender, drain, and combine with lentils, vermacelli and rice.  Top with fried onions.

6.  For the sauce, put the hot sauce, tomatoes, garlic and chicken cubes in a blender.  Puree.  Then heat on the stove to let the mixture thin out.

7.To plate the food, first put the Kushari mix (lentils, rice, macaroni) in a bowl or on a platter.  Top with onions.  Add a small amount of the sauce on top (you can always add more later, but start slowly).  You are now ready to enjoy the meal!

Serves 6.

If you decide to try this dish I have come to love, let us know how you liked it!

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