Fun in the kitchen~I love cooking but it doesn’t hurt to recruit help. I got that and so much more. You’ve seen those bouquets of beautiful edible fruit -kind of like art in a planter. In Egypt, fresh fruit platters are also like art. They are elaborate and a time for chefs to showcase their carving skills. I recruited my daughter and her boyfriend to engineer an assorted fruit platter. Take a look at their creation!
My other daughter got inspired to help in the kitchen and last night she made a very popular meal that is found all over Egypt: Koushari~Lentils, Rice, and Pasta with Spicy Tomato Sauce. Koushari is the ultimate vegetarian meal! This fits well with our Meatless Monday nights. Koushari shops, located all over Egypt, are great late night eateries. Peak through the window of a Koushari shop and you will find pots of lentils, pasta, rice, and fried onions. There is a certain order in which the food is placed. This meal is very easy to make but takes a lot of pots and pans. Here you will see my daughter working on the spicy tomato portion of the recipe.
Consider this recipe, for your next Vegetarian meal. You will not regret it and beware it makes a lot AND you will be satisfied.
Lentils, Rice, and Pasta with Spicy Tomato Sauce (as found in “Nile Style”)
1 Cup brown or black lentils ( I used green), rinsed
3 tablespoons oil
2 medium yellow onions, 1 diced, 1 thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups tomato puree
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 cup Egyptian (recipe in earlier post) or other short-grain rice
1/2 cup elbow macaroni or mini penne pasta
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and well-drained
Place lentils in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil on high heat and then reduce heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, until tender, approximately 20 minutes. Drain and reserve lentils until needed.
Heat 1 Tablespoon corn oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add diced onion and saute until soft and golden. Add garlic and saute until it begins to turn color. Add tomato puree, stir, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add cumin, and chili powder, stir well. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add vinegar and simmer, covered for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, if necessary. Remove from heat and keep covered until serving.
Fill a medium saucepan three-quarters full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add Egyptian rice and reduce heat to medium heat. Cook until rice is tender and then drain. Place rice back in saucepan and cover to keep warm until serving.
Meanwhile, fill another medium saucepan three-quarter full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Season with salt and reduce heat to medium. Add pasta and cook until done. Drain well, place pasta back in saucepan, and cover to keep warm until serving.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons corn oil in a large, wide, frying pan over medium heat. Add slice onion and saute until golden brown. Take off heat and stir in chickpeas.
Assemble the Koushari by spooning the rice evenly into the bottom of a large low serving bowl. Scatter pasta on top of rice, and lentils on top of pasta. Pour sauce evenly over the top of rice and pasta. Arrange onion and chickpeas in a pattern around the center of the dish. Serve hot.
See you later! اشوفك بعدين