Wednesday, February 9, 2011

First Impressions - Egyptian Koshari

We have been working our way through the Mediterranean countries, trying new & exciting dishes. This was one that we have been putting off just because it sounded... well, so WEIRD!

Apparently Koshari is sold "everywhere" in Egypt by street-vendors, as well as being made at home as a comfort-food breakfast. Every site I looked at had a slightly different variation, which apparently is also customary. So in keeping with that, we took about two dozen versions & combined them to create our own last night.

After serving it up, we looked into our bowls & nearly lost our nerve. Not only had we mixed some VERY odd ingredients together, but it LOOKS funny too. Yet when we mustered up the courage to try it, we discovered a wonderful treat. My daughter, who absolutely hates lentils, came back for seconds. My husband insisted we make it again - the very next day. And my son is discussing mix-ins to make interesting variations. It might not look all that great, and it sounds positively crazy - but Koshari gets eight thumbs up in our house!

To make OUR version, you will need:

1 cup lentils
1 cup brown rice
6 cups water
salt & pepper to taste
2 cups cooked macaroni elbows (we used Ancient Harvest Quinoa elbows this time!)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions, minced
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans fire-roasted tomatoes
and 1 tsp chili powder

In a medium saucepot, bring water to boil, then add lentils salt & pepper and let simmer for 25 minutes. Add rice, and let simmer 25-35 minutes until rice is cooked & water is gone. While the rice is cooking, saute onions & garlic in olive oil. Add tomatoes & chili powder, and let simmer until rice is cooked. Mix lentil-rice mixture, cooked pasta AND tomato-mixture all together, and serve hot.

For a quick & tasty dessert, we decided to make up some rolled dates. No recipe needed, all we did for this was pit fresh medjool dates & run them through the food processor, then roll little balls of the date-mush in shredded coconut. These babies are quick, raw, tasty, and positively addictive. Honestly, I like them ALMOST as much as dark-chocolate truffles.

Almost.

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