Egyptian Koshari

Blessing Funmilayo
Blessing Funmilayo
Hello, my name is Funmilayo, and i love to write about food, beauty, fashion and wellness. So welcome to my Food world! I share histories, discoveries, uniqueness, tips, and tricks on different dishes .Come let's take this adventure together. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do and hope to see you back here again soon.
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Koshari is one of the traditional Egyptian food. This dish is considered the national dish of Egypt and very popular street food.

You can find this dish in almost every home in Egypt, kind of like mac and cheese. Although this koshari recipe takes some time to put together, each element is fairly simple to make.

It may not look like much, but this Egyptian comfort food has every bit of a satisfying depth and texture. It’ll have you coming back for more!

What is Koshari?

Koshari (كشري) also called kusharikosheri, or koshary, is one of the most popular dishes in the land of the Pharaohs, a delicious vegan combination prepared with chickpeas, lentils, macaroni, and rice. It is a cousin to the Middle Eastern Mujadara.

Egyptian koshari is also called koshari Abu gibba. The full name can be explained by the presence, in the recipe, of black lentils, also called ads Abu gibba.

Origin Of This Recipe

Although positioned as the Egyptian national dish, the koshari recipe is clearly of Indian origin. Koshari arrived in Egypt in the mid-19th century, when the country was an important crossroads of cultures and food.

The Egyptians then experimented and added their touch to this simple, varied, colorful, and spicy dish from India.

This dish, therefore, has similarities to the famous Indian dish called khichdi, made from rice and lentils, but the Egyptian dish has more ingredients and flavors, especially the sauce which gives it its unique taste.

Some believe that koshari was first prepared in Egypt during the British occupation (1882-1914).

Indian khichdi is found under other names including khicharikhichadikohsherikhicaṛī, or even khichri and it is considered to be one of the oldest dishes in India.

Moroccan jurist and frequent traveler Abū ʿAbdallāh Muhammad Ibn Battūta, who visited India in the 14th century, already mentioned khichri in his writings as a popular breakfast. Also, Afanasy Nikitin, the Medieval Russian traveler, merchant and one of the first Europeans to document a trip to India mentioned khichri in his writings.

In the Mughal Empire, the very popular khichdi was mentioned several times in the meal plans of the Mughals.

There are also several references to khichdi in the writings of Abu’l-Fazl ibn Mubarak (1551-1602), an Indian chronicler and historiographer, who wrote his works in Persian, notably in his work Ain-i-Akbari.

Jean-Baptiste Tavernier (1605 – 1689), a French traveler and baron of Aubonne in Switzerland, brought back to the 17th century a variant of khichdi with green lentils, rice, and ghee.

During the colonial period in India (1858-1947), the British immersed themselves in Indian cuisine and therefore among other recipes, khichri.

In British households in India, khichri was often served for breakfast with fish, which was usually eaten in the morning with boiled eggs, immediately after fishing.

British India brought back khichdi to England under the famous name of kedgeree, which is made from fish, rice, eggs, butter, cream, and curry.

It would therefore be the British who probably made the koshari popular in Egypt.

You will find khichdi and kedgeree much later, via the British army which, passing from one colony to another carried along with the culinary habits of “British India”.

This is how koshari was introduced into Egypt towards the end of the 19th century or the beginning of the 20th century.

We can easily deduce that this vegan dish can satisfy the Coptic diet during Lent because it is devoid of meat. The Copts are the Christian inhabitants of Egypt.

Koshari Recipe

The koshari recipe is quite simple to make, even if it requires several steps for the cooking of the different ingredients.

Precooked lentils and chickpeas can be purchased to speed up the recipe’s preparation.

This cuisine is incredibly popular in all of the country’s eateries, to the point where there are even restaurants dedicated solely to koshari.
Large containers with the ingredients already cooked sit behind the bay windows of restaurants or on the shelves of food carts selling koshari on the streets. These items are simply reheated and seasoned over high heat. 
It is quick and easy-to-cook dish that is both affordable and incredibly nutritious due to its high protein and carbohydrate content.

How Long Does It Take to Make Koshari?

Each part is easy to do, but if you are in a hurry, it can get overwhelming. If you are making this for your first time, block off about 2 to 3 hours to take your time. When you’ve made kosher a few times, you can cook it in less than 1 hour and 30 minutes. If you have made this meal a lot, you can get it down to an hour.

How To Assemble The Perfect Koshari Bowl

Because kosher has several parts to it, you might be wondering how to assemble everything. Here is the list in order of how you assemble the bowl starting with the bottom-most layer (being the koshari lentil rice).

  1. Lentil rice
  2. Pasta
  3. Chickpeas in cumin
  4. Cooked red sauce
  5. Fresh red sauce
  6. Fried onions

What To Serve With Koshari

Normally, koshari is served as a standalone dish. At home, this dish is served family-style with additional tomato sauce and crispy onion rings to pass!

To complete the meal, you can typically add a side of this quick 3- ingredient Mediterranean salad dressed simply in olive oil and lemon juice.

Be sure to recreate this incredible delicacy that is not only delicious but also full of proteins, fiber, and tons of vitamins like iron and calcium needed for your body. Bon appétit!

Egyptian koshari

Amira Georgy
Koshari is a classic Egyptian dish made from rice, lentils and pasta. It's often served by street vendors and is prepared in large pots.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Egyptian
Servings 4


  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large brown onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tsp Massel vegetable stock powder
  • 1/2 cup dried green lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup dried macaroni
  • 1 cup white long-grain rice
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 eschalot, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, torn
  • 2 tsp white vinegar


  • Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Cook onion, stirring, for 6 minutes or until golden. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.
  • Add cumin, cinnamon and mixed spice to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add stock powder, lentils and 1 litre of water. Cover. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cook for 15 minutes or until lentils are half-cooked.
  • Add pasta, rice and 1/2 cup water to pan. Cover. Return to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for a further 15 minutes or until lentils, rice and pasta are tender.
  • Meanwhile, combine the tomato, eschalot, parsley, vinegar and remaining oil in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.
  • Remove koshari from heat. Stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve topped with the caramelised onion and tomato salad.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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Blessing Funmilayo
Blessing Funmilayo
Hello, my name is Funmilayo, and i love to write about food, beauty, fashion and wellness. So welcome to my Food world! I share histories, discoveries, uniqueness, tips, and tricks on different dishes .Come let's take this adventure together. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do and hope to see you back here again soon.

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