Tuesday,17 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1357, (17 - 23 August 2017)
Tuesday,17 October, 2017
Issue 1357, (17 - 23 August 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Egyptian koshary

Egyptian koshary
Egyptian koshary

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:  
2 cups rice (washed, drained)
1 cup black lentils (soaked covered; for two hours, in boiling water; washed, drained, soaked again in clear tap water; until used)
4 large onions (halved, sliced)
1/2 cup short vermicelli (she’reya)
1/2 cup chickpeas (soaked in tap water for 8 hours at least)
Juice of one lemon
1 red firm tomato (quartered)
1/2 cup tiny pasta (tiny rigatoni or elbow macaroni)
2 cups sunflower or corn oil for deep frying

Red Sauce:
500 gm red firm tomatoes (peeled, chopped, blended to purée)
3 tsp crushed garlic
1 hot green chili, optional (chopped)
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
Oil from frying onion
1 tsp each: Salt + cumin
Pinch of black pepper

Da’aa:
1 tsp sautéed crushed garlic (taken from that of red sauce)
1 tbsp white vinegar
Juice of 5 lemons
1.5 tsp sugar
1/4 cup drained chickpea waters
1 tsp each: prepared red sauce + salt + cumin

Method
Drain and discard waters of soaked chickpeas.  Wash thoroughly under running tap water.  Strain.  In a medium cooking pan; add strained chickpeas, chopped tomato, quartered onion, a pinch of black pepper and cover with boiling water.  Bring to the boil.  Lower heat to medium and allow to simmer.  Halfway the process; add juice of one lemon, one teaspoonful of ground cumin.  Continue simmering until cooked then add salt (to taste).  Leave aside, covered, in its waters.  

Meanwhile begin by deep frying the onion:  In a wide skillet, add oil to a large frying pan with high edge; enough to deep fry onion until golden. You need to fry onion like you fry French fries; in the sense that you heat oil to very hot, add onion so as to be floating in the oil.  Stir continuously and constantly, to golden brown slices until they are dried out; yet not dark in colour.  Halfway the frying process; and when still at the sautéeing stage, add some salt to enhance frying.  When onion is golden brown, remove in a glass bowl, with a slotted spatula.  Left in the bowl; onion will crunch and crisp, exposed to air.  This process will take ten minutes of your time; so be patient.  The amount of onion and oil will be used next in all forthcoming steps.  Keep thoroughly attending to frying and stirring onion; without attending to anything else.  

Next step is the rice with vermicelli.  Start by the vermicelli:  In a medium saucepan; add 2 teaspoonfuls of oil from frying onion.  Stir in the vermicelli until colour is light brown.  Leave aside.  In a large cooking pan, add a ladleful of oil from frying onion; over medium heat.  Stir in rice until translucent.  Add fried vermicelli to rice and mix.  Add a small handful of crushed fried onion to both.  Stir in drained lentils and stir to combine with rice mixture.  Stir in two teaspoonfuls of salt, two teaspoonfuls of cumin and another medium handful of crushed fried onion; to rice mixture.  Add three cups of hot water.  Bring to the boil over medium heat, then simmer over low heat, on top of a simmering ring until cooked.  

Meanwhile, cook the pasta:  Fill a medium cooking pan with salted water and bring to the boil.  Add tiny pasta and cook until al dente.  Drain only; do not rinse.  While pasta is hot; stir in a tablespoonful of oil from frying onion and leave aside.  This will not make pasta cling and collect together.  

To make red sauce:  Sautée garlic in two tablespoonfuls of same oil from frying onion.  When garlic is about to change colour; strain one teaspoonful of garlic in a small container aside; for the da’aa.  Continue frying the garlic until just about to brown.  Stir in the puréed tomato.  Allow to cook for a few minutes, then add sugar, salt and cumin.  Add chili (optional), then stir in the vinegar and add some crushed crispy onion pieces to the red sauce; to strengthen its flavour.  

The da’aa:  Mix, stirring all ingredients together.  

To serve; pile up your serving dish as follows:  Rice lentil vermicelli mixture, then a generous drizzle of red sauce on top and on the sides, then a drizzle of some da’aa, followed by tiny pasta, then another drizzle of red sauce once more.  Last, but not least; the fried crunchy onion to top it all.

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