KoshariKoshari, popularly known as the national dish of Egypt, is served in almost all homes, restaurants, and on every street corner in Egypt. This highly popular and delicious pot dish comes with an unusual blend of macaroni, rice, and lentils. A spicy tomato sauce (a unique combination of tomatoes, onions, garlic, and vinegar) is typically drizzled over the top. Sounds strange, right?! But believe us, you will end up craving it once you have tasted it. Koshari can be prepared quickly and is superb for a dinner party or family get-together. Let’s look at the ingredients and the method required to prepare Koshari.
- 50 ml of olive oil
- 200 gm (1 cup) basmati rice
- 560 ml (2¼ cups) hot vegetable stock or water
- 250 gm brown lentils
- 100 gm small macaroni
- 20 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2½ tsp (spices mix ) salt, cumin and black pepper.
- ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
- 600 gm canned chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp vinegar, or to taste
METHOD1- For the tomato sauce, heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic and sauté until tender (4–5 minutes). Stir in spices mix and chilli flakes until fragrant, add chopped tomatoes, season to taste and simmer until slightly thickened (6–7 minutes). Stir in vinegar, check to season and keep warm. 2- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add rice and stir to coat. Season to taste, then add the stock, bring to a simmer and cover. Reduce heat to low-medium and cook without uncovering until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed (12–15 minutes). Set aside. 3- Meanwhile, cook lentils in a large saucepan of unsalted boiling water until almost tender (6–8 minutes). Stir in pasta and cook until pasta is all done (6–7 minutes). Drain, then stir lentils and pasta into rice, season to taste, and keep warm. 4- Heat butter and remaining oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and fry until golden brown and crisp (8–10 minutes). 5- To serve, divide lentil mixture among bowls, spoon tomato sauce on top and scatter with crisp onion.
Bechamel pastaOne of life’s true pleasures, the Egyptian bechamel pasta, is undoubtedly the most delectable pasta recipe on this planet. A ground beef mixture between layers of penne pasta and topped with the cheesy bechamel sauce, what else could you probably ask for? You can use any type of pasta (macaroni, spaghetti, or angel hair) according to your liking, but we love penne, so that’s what we will use in our delicious bechamel pasta recipe. It’s an Egyptian favourite for sure because who on the face of the earth can resist beef, pasta, and sauce. This dish is great for dinner parties and can easily feed a crowd; all you need is some salad to go along! Super addictive, we swear. Now without any further ado, let’s get elbow deep into the ingredients and recipe.
Ingredients:Ground Beef Mixture
- 1 Onion
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 2 lbs Ground Beef
- 8 oz Tomato paste
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 stick butter approx 120 gms
- 8 heaping Tablespoons Flour approx 120 gms
- 6 cups of milk
- 2–3 pinches of fresh ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- salt and pepper
- 1 cube chicken bullion (optional)
- 1 lb Penne Pasta
DIRECTIONS:Beef - Saute onion in oil until yellow, season with salt and pepper - Add ground beef and brown, season with salt and pepper and cinnamon - Drain excess water - Make a well in the middle and add tomato paste, saute for 2–3 minutes - Mix tomato paste with beef and turn off the heat - Add chopped parsley Pasta - Cook pasta per package directions. Reduce cooking time by 1 to 2 minutes as the pasta will continue cooking in the oven Bechamel Sauce - Melt butter in large saucepan on medium - Add flour and whisk until smooth, cook for 2–3 minutes constantly whisking - Put milk and whisk until flour is fully incorporated. Add fresh grated nutmeg, allspice and bouillon cube. Season with salt and pepper - Continue stirring until milk comes to a slow boil - The sauce will thicken after milk comes to a boil - Stir for 2–3 more minutes then turn off the heat - Taste and add salt until desired taste - Drain the pasta and mix in 1/3 of the Bechamel sauce - Butter bottom of a 9x12 baking porcelain/Pyrex baking pan - Layer in 1/2 of the pasta mixture - Add all of the beef as the second layer - Put remaining pasta as the third layer - Pour bechamel sauce in top until fully covered - Bake in a 375-degree oven in the top half for 35–45 minutes. Beschemel will bubble slowly - Increase temp to 425 to brown (monitor continuously to avoid burning) - Remove from oven and allow to rest for 20 mins before serving
Stuffed grape leaves or DolmaDolma (also known as Stuffed grape leaves) is a Middle Eastern dish that is eaten and appreciated across the globe, all with a slight modification. This flavoursome dish can easily be found in any restaurant, specifically the Mediterranean. Still, today we are going to teach you how to make the best Dolmas at the comfort of your home. In this recipe, the grape leaves are stuffed with a tempting fusion of rice, onion, fresh herbs (dill, cilantro, mint), and warm spices. The Dolmas in the Middle East are usually served with garlic yogurt and are eaten warm or cold as an appetizer and as a main course as well. Depending on your liking, you can also add meat to the recipe!
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- ⅔ cup rice (short or medium grain), washed and drained
- 1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 small bunch dill, chopped
- 15 fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 65 fresh vine leaves (or canned)
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- ½ cup of water
- ½ cup plain yogurt, mixed with 2 chopped garlic cloves
INSTRUCTIONSFilling In a large bowl, mix, onion, rice, fresh herbs, salt and pepper and knead vigorously for 5 minutes. Dolmas - If using fresh grape leaves, blanch 10 at a time in a large saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes. That will soften the leaves and make them easier to roll. Remove the leaves with a slotted spoon. Cut the stems or hard veins. - If canned leaves, place them in a large colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Cut stems or hard veins. If canned leaves are too thick, blanch in boiling water, in the same manner as fresh leaves, but only for one minute, then drain. - Place the shiny side of the grape leaf down on a board or in the palm of your hand. And place 1 teaspoon of stuffing at the basis of the stem of the leaf. Fold the lower end of the sheet up, then fold its sides over the filling and roll. - In a Dutch oven or non-stick pot, place the stuffed grape leaves, close to each other. You can make several layers, if necessary. - If using fresh grape leaves, sprinkle a little salt between each layer. - Pour the melted butter over the grape leaves and add the water. - If necessary, place a small lid or a small plate on top of the dolmas to keep them tight and to prevent them from opening. - Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium/low heat and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours or until the leaves are tender. - Serve dolmas hot or warm accompanied by garlic yogurt.
Chicken KabsaRegarded as the national dish of Jordan and Saudi Arabia, Chicken Kabsa is sure to turn your next dinner party into a feast. This Arabic dish is a family favourite and is suitable for any occasion. This spiced chicken and rice recipe is served with roasted almonds and raisins. Some fresh carrot, tomato and lettuce salad with pita bread on the side compliment Chicken Kabsa very well. Drizzle some citrusy yogurt sauce on top, and you are good to go. So channel your inner chef this season and cook the tantalizing Chicken Kabsa for your friends and family!
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups onions chopped
- ½ tsp ginger grated
- 600 gms chicken pieces with bones and skin
- 1 tbsp salt
- ½ tbsp ground pepper
- ½ tbsp cardamom powder.
- 1 dried lime
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder
- ¼ tsp clove powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups tomatoes finely chopped
- 1 ½ cup long grain rice like Basmati
- 2 cup carrots shredded
- 1/3 cup almonds blanched and halved
- 1/3 cup raisins
Instructions1- Wash and soak the rice in cold water for 45 minutes. 2- In a big pot, add 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, chopped onion and ginger. Fry on medium heat until brown. 3- Add the chicken and brown it on both sides. 4- Add the cardamom powder, cinnamon powder, clove powder, dried lime, bay leaf, salt, and pepper and mix well. 5- Add the tomato paste and the chopped tomatoes and cook until the oil rises to the top. Add 1 litre – 4 cups of water, cover and let the chicken cook for 25 minutes on medium-high heat. 6- In the meantime, fry the raisins until plump and brown in a little bit of oil, drain and keep them aside. Then do the same thing with the almonds. Keep aside. 7- Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot and put it in a baking pan. Broil it in a hot oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Keep aside. 8- Drain the rice and put it in the pot from where you removed the chicken. Add the shredded carrots and mix well. 9- Cover with a clean tea towel and then cover with a lid (this will prevent the steam from evaporating too quickly) — Cook the rice for 20–25 minutes on medium heat. 10- Serve the rice topped with the chicken and the roasted almonds and raisins.
Fattoush saladFattoush salad is a classic dish that is served in almost all Lebanese restaurants. The dish is prepared from fresh vegetables and pita bread. It typically includes tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, parsley, garlic, yogurt, cheese, and fried pieces of pita bread. Sumac, garlic, vinegar, mint and lemon juice adds to the flavour and makes the recipe more refreshing and satisfying. Prepare Fattoush salad as a light evening snack or as a full meal by topping it with hummus, or crispy baked falafel.
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 3–4 large heirloom tomatoes, diced
- 3 oz radishes, thinly sliced
- 5 mini cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 1 scallion, diced
- 1/2 oz fresh mint, coarsely chopped
- 1 oz flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, diced
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more to taste
- 4 pita bread, toasted until golden and fully hard
- 6 oz feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 teaspoons sumac (or more to taste)
- In a mason jar or cup with a lid, shake milk and yogurt together and place it in the fridge until bubbles form on the surface. Let sit for at least 2 hours, but up to 1 day.
- When you’re near ready to serve, combine the fermented yogurt mixture with tomatoes, radishes, cukes, scallion, mint, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar. Sit for at least 20 minutes for all the flavours to combine.
- When you’re ready to serve, crumble the pita into large pieces and toss to combine. Towards the end of your mixing, toss in feta. Garnish with sumac and serve!