As I had stayed in Egypt for 5 years, I had my favorite dishes from their cuisine and Khoshary was and is my all-time favorite. Let's dive in to check out the recipe and bring this amazing one-pot meal to our homes.
I wanted an authentic recipe to try at home so I followed this recipe on Youtube. Staying in Egypt, I started understanding Arabic. But, was pleasantly surprised when I could understand it even after 10 years to leaving Egypt.
So, yes the recipe is in Arabic and I will decode it for you here step by step. You can also find the exact ingredients here
This dish is an assembly of 6 different preparations as we see in the image below. We will look at each preparation individually.
1. Rice - This forms the base
In a pot, heat some oil and add 0.5 cup roughly chopped onions. When onions are lightly brown on the edges, add 0.75 cup Vermicelli. Saute until Vermicelli turns light brown. You need to be really careful here as Vermicelli burns very quickly. Now add 1 cup washed rice and saute.
In another pot take 2 cups of water and add a cube of vegetable stock. I did not have a vegetable stock cube at home so I added some salt, 1 tsp each of cumin powder, coriander powder and chilli powder.
Bring the water to a boil and add it to the rice and vermicelli mix. Keep the flame high until water comes down to the level of the rice. Now lower the flame to minimum and cover and cook until rice is completely done.
2. Horse Gram / Brown Lentil
Add salt in the water and boil the lentils in the water until properly done. In my case, I had to use a pressure cooker as boiling in the open pot was not cooking my lentils properly. You do not want it to be really mushy but it should be well done
3. Elbow Pasta and Spaghetti
Take a pot of water and add salt to it. Salt should be slightly on the higher side.
When the water starts boiling, add your pasta and spaghetti together. I took 1 cup Pasta and 0.5 cup spaghetti.
Let it boil on high heat for 2 - 3 minutes. Now lower the heat and cook pasta until it is done. To check if the pasta is done properly, pinch it and see if it breaks.
Now drain the water and run it through cold water. This helps to prevent overcooking. Now sprinkle some oil and toss lightly so that the pasta does not stick
Soak chickpeas for 3-4 hours or overnight. You can skip this step if you are using canned chickpeas. Now boil the soaked chickpeas in a pressure cooker until done. Every pressure cooker has a different setting of whistles hence I am not sharing the number of whistles here, but it should be properly cooked. We only add salt to the water while boiling the chickpeas.
5. Tomato Salsa
Tomato Salsa is the star ingredient of the entire recipe as the entire taste depends on salsa. I will share my measurements here but please feel free to alter them as per your liking.
Take 5 medium size tomatoes, 2 cloves garlic, and 1 cup water and puree them.
In a pot add the puree, 2 tbsp oil, 1.5 tsp each of cumin powder and coriander powder, 2 tsp spicy red chili powder, 1 tsp color red chili powder, 1 tbsp sugar, and salt as per taste.
After mixing, place the pot on the stove and cook slowly until the salsa starts to boil. Now one more important ingredient here is Vinegar. I added 2 tbsp vinegar to the salsa once it started boiling. It was tasting good to me but my husband felt it would taste better with a little less sourness to it.
So, I will suggest preparing the vinegar mixture separately as shown in the recipe video
Take 1 cup water, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 tsp. each of coriander powder, cumin powder, and chili powder, 1 tbsp garlic paste, and salt as per taste. Mix all the ingredients well and keep the mixture separately.
6. Birista (Fried Onion)
Slice 1 big onion and marinate it with a little salt and vinegar. Leave it at room temperature for about an hour (or until you are preparing other items). Now wash it with normal water and drain. In a pot, heat some oil (enough to dip the onions by 3/4th). When the oil is hot, add onions and fry it on high heat for a minute. Now lower the heat to medium and continue frying until the color changes slightly. This is the time you need to be really careful with the heat. Onions turn black from brown in no time so lower the heat to a minimum and stir continously. Always take out the onions when they are one shade lighter to the color you want as it continues to cook in its own heat. Drain out the onions on a paper towel and keep it aside. It will become crispy as it cools down a bit
The final Assembly
Now its time to bring it all together
Layer the rice mix in good quantity
Add some lentils
Add the Pasta as much as you want
Now sprinkle some chickpeas
Pour the salsa over it
Top it up with Birista (Fried Onion)
Finally, add the vinegar mix if you prepared it separately. Or you can serve it on the side
Enjoy this amazing wholesome meal at home and whenever you get a chance to travel to Egypt, please do try this awesome dish there.