Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
8 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup lentil mixture, 1/3 cup sauce, and 2 tablespoons onion mixture)

Koshari, a classic Egyptian street food, is a starch-lover's dream: Rice, pasta, and legumes are crowned with a spicy-sweet tomato sauce and creamy caramelized onions.

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare sauce, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion to pan, and cook for 15 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, peppers, and tomatoes; cook 10 minutes or until slightly thick. Transfer tomato mixture to a food processor; process 1 minute or until smooth. Keep warm. Wipe skillet dry with paper towels.

Step 2

To prepare koshari, heat 3 tablespoons oil in pan over medium heat. Add sliced onion; cook 15 minutes or until deep golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove onion with a slotted spoon to several layers of paper towels; set aside. Return pan to medium heat. Add vermicelli; sauté 2 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Set aside.

Step 3

Combine 5 cups water and lentils in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Remove from heat; add vermicelli, stirring well to combine. Wrap a clean kitchen towel around lid, and cover lentil mixture; let stand for 10 minutes or until vermicelli is tender. Add rice and 1 teaspoon salt to lentil mixture; fluff with a fork. Serve immediately with sauce and onions.

Ratings & Reviews

JerriLyn's Review

January 08, 2012
This was a good solid recipe. *which is what 3 stars means!* First, the prep was not all that daunting, especially if you prep everything before you start. I used one pot all the way through, cleaning it out between steps. The results were good, this is a great warming homey comfort dish that fills you up and tastes great. We had seconds and only stopped because we ran out of onions. My only suggestions? Double, even triple, the carmelized onions. They MAKE the dish!

iaam12000's Review

March 23, 2010
I agree with the previous poster... daunting to make! I had the onions prepped in advanced as well as the rice and it was STILL crazy to plan out all the parts... but I also agree that it was GREAT! My only issue was that I still had water left with the lentils/noodles so I had to drain that off first before combining with rice, but otherwise everything else worked out ok. Lots of timing and multi-tasking... and dishes... but very, very yummy!

Otterstamp's Review

January 19, 2010
I'm not a huge fan of lentils, and as I was making this recipe I became increasingly convinced that it was going to suck. The finished product was definitely edible, lentils and all, and my boyfriend had two heaping portions before going into carb shock. My vermicelli noodles were ridiculous to try to cut into one inch pieces, so I trimmed off a hunk and then cut the noodles after they became soft.

Saecca's Review

October 19, 2009
A very daunting recipe, I must say-- I was getting flustered half way through. However, the end result is AMAZING!! The sautéed noodles had a light seared taste. The onions cook down to be sweet and wonderful. The sauce has a kick, but is calmed by the pasta and rice. Did I mention how healthy it is?? I love this recipe, but it does take a bit of planning and time management! I cooked the lentils while I made the sauce and the onions. Bravo on this one!!

jmscoker's Review

October 30, 2013
With ingredients prepped, it still took a little over an hour to make and used every burner on the stove. I love lentils. I used regular brown lentils. Doubled the onions! Mmmm. A interesting way to use standard pantry items.

happycookin's Review

June 01, 2012

clareshemeta's Review

February 29, 2012

pcwied's Review

March 13, 2010
This was tasty and a great way to get lots of healthy nutrients. The only thing I didn't like, and wished I had used my own judgment, was how oily the onions were. Next time I will use less than 3 tbls. oil. The onions carmelized very nicely and were so nice and sweet, but the aftereffect of the oil was too much for me.