Egyptian Koshari and Baharat Spice Mix

This is almost the end of the month and I still didn’t believe that we are in the last week or say last three days of Buffet on Table,the month long mega marathon.This week we don’t have any particular theme , we can do any post on whatever theme we want to .
So after a lot of thinking I chose to do the recipes that have some special place or I can say close to my heart .The one such dish was Egyptian Koshari. Now you must be wondering what is so special in the dish.Well being a popular vegan dish is one fact, but this recipe is a memorable one for me.

The story begins when we moved to US,Tallahassee ,Florida three month’s back .We came to know some neighbors or I should say some friends in our Apartments society.One such neighbor is an Egyptian lady and her two kids . The elder boy is of same age as my daughter and is friends with her.All the kids loved to play in the back garden and we ,mothers were also sitting there,gossiping and watching them.

It was all fun, but one day the lady told us that they were going back to Egypt as she didn’t get the grant from her University for more time.It was all of a sudden and we all were like whoa.The kids were very sad mainly her son . He doesn’t want to go back .All of this happened within a week .Her husband and son went one day before her flight.She was all alone in her house.She gave all her furniture , kitchen appliances and almost everything in the neighborhood.So as a gesture ,we all friends thought to provide her food for the day she was staying in her empty apartment.First day I send her aloo baingan sabzi , poori ,salad,chutney and curd.The dinner was given by my Gujarati friend .She made Khaman , rice ,dal and halwa and poori for her.Now it was only lunch time left before she would go to airport.I asked her in the night what she would like to eat and she said anything. I suddenly asked her if she would like to have Koshari and she said yes she would love to.

As her flight was around 3:00pm , I woke up early and started looking for the ingredients.I had everything except macroni , so I substituted it with Vermicelli.
After preparing everything,I assembled the dish and went to her house. She tasted it and said that she never had such delicious Koshari before even in Egypt.She told me that they don’t usually make it at home ,they would prefer to buy it from street markets.
The only thing she said missing was fried onions. I mean I did topped the dish with onions but she told me they would add lots of fried onions.

The idea of doing this post came today in mind when I talked with her today .She told me that the condition is still not good there.Even the school hasn’t started yet and they are not sure when the schools would start again.Pretty bad .I hope everything will be fine there soon .

Now coming back to the recipe.Here is how I made it.

Blogging Marathon#56
Theme-Blogger’s Choice

For Baharat Masala

1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon cardamom
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Dry roast the whole seeds except the ground one in a pan,tossing in between.Cool and grind along with ground cinnamon and nutmeg.
Store in airtight container.

For Koshari

1 cup rice
1 cup brown lentil /whole masoor dal
1 cup small macroni (I used vermicelli )
2 onions ,thinely sliced
2-3 garlic cloves,minced
2 cup vegetable stock/water
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
salt to taste
2 tablespoon olive oil

For the sauce

1 small onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can tomato sauce/3 medium tomatoes,pureed
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 teaspoon baharat spice powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
Salt to taste
pepper to taste
2 tablespoon olive oil

To Garnish
1/2 cup crispy fried onions
1/4 cup canned or boiled white chickpea/garbanzo beans

For Rice:

Heat olive oil in a pan and add washed and drained rice.Stir fry the rice fro 5 minutes.Now add the vegetables stock or water and bring it to boil.Cook,covered on simmer for 10-15 minutes or until rice are done.

Wash and soak brown lentil in enough water.Cook covered for 30 minutes in a pan with garlic ,cumin and bay leaf and 3 cups of water.Alternatively cook in pressure cooker for 3 whistles.Once cooked , add salt and drain completely,set aside.
Cook the macroni /vermicelli as per packet instructions.

For sauce
Heat olive oil in a pan and add garlic and onions.Cook on high heat for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown in color.
Add the tomato puree, bharat mix ,salt ,pepper ,chilly flakes and red wine vinegar.Coo ,covered on simmer for 15-20 minutes.

To assemble
In a mixing bowl add cooked rice ,lentils and macroni/vermicelli.Toss well until combined.
Sprinkle some bharat masala over each serving, top with some spicy tomato sauce.Add some garbanzo beans ,crispy fried onions and some more baharat spice mix.

Serve and enjoy.

Serve-4 Cooking time-45 minutes

Check out the Blogging
Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 56

Best regards,

Sapana Behl

12 comments on “Egyptian Koshari and Baharat Spice Mix”

  1. Usha Rao says:

    Sad to know your neighbor had to go back suddenly. Hope everything works out for them. You got great compliment for the food from a native. You nailed the recipe.

  2. the masala is super flavorful and can add aroma and flavor to any dish it is added to..

  3. Beautiful..touchy post !..its hard to make friends, once you make they leave…..
    loved the dish beautifully presented , looks delicious and full of love !

  4. So you arent in Ireland, never knew this.. Thats so sad that your neighbour had to move suddenly.. Btw Koshari looks like a complete meal.Love that flavourful baharat spice mix.

  5. Srivalli says:

    That's a fantastic dish Sapana, so glad that you could make it for your neighbour..hope things turn out good for them!

  6. Aww such a sweet gesture sapana! ! Koshari looks super tempting and spice mix was in my to do list for a long time now!!!

  7. Srividhya says:

    That looks amazing. Loved your write up. Hope things are fine now.

  8. Sandhiya says:

    Koshari looks tempting.Nice write up,hope things are better there now.

  9. Sapana that is a so beautiful. Loved ur write up

  10. Pavani N says:

    Loved reading your post Sapana. I'm sure this recipe invokes so many fond memories for you. Koshari looks so delicious. I made it once and you are tempting me to make it again.

  11. Delicious and filling koshari.

  12. It was so thoughtful of you that you chose to make a dish dear to her. You must have nailed the dish when a native Egyptian gave you that complimemt. I too have fallen in love with this dish when I made for an earlier BM.
    And that spice mix looks so colorful and sounds flavorful.

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