dinner/recipes/Vegetarian Recipes

Egyptian Kosheri Rice Recipe

Posted November 27, 2017 by Stephanie
Egyptian Kosheri Rice Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Egyptian Kosheri Rice Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

When I was a kid, I was one of those weird kids that didn’t like my food touching other food. It wasn’t very hard to avoid because I basically lived on white rice and cereal. Never together though, that would have been my nightmare. Actually, I’m not really into cereals being mixed together – you know, the way some people make up bowls of cereal that are essentially a bunch of different cereals in one bowl? I used to hate that, when my mom mixed up all the little leftover bits of all the boxes of cereal so it could make up a full bowl. Gross! But, I think I’ve grown out of that particular problem because I like chex mix now. And what’s more, I kind of like all different kinds of things mixed together. Things like this incredible carbs on carbs on carbs dish called kosheri.

Egyptian Kosheri Rice Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

I first heard about kosheri through Mike, who heard about it about it from our friend, who grew up in Egypt. Kosheri is a classic Egyptian street food made of rice, lentils, and pasta mixed together and topped with a spicy tomato sauce, crispy onions, chickpeas, and a tangy vinegar garlic. If you love carbs and spicy things, you’re going to love kosheri. It’s super hearty and comforting and just the thing you need to warm you up if you’re feeling a little bit of wintertime woe.

Typically kosheri uses lentils, but I went with some other pulses (pulses are the protein-packed family of chickpeas, beans, lentils and dry peas) because I had some dry split peas and chickpeas hanging out in the pantry. In fact, this dish was made entirely of things we had at home. It was nice, not having to go to the grocery store for once. And, it was nice that this dish was vegan because I made it on a Monday, which made me feel very millennial and good about doing Meatless Monday for once. Pulses like split peas also make it easy to stay healthy throughout the winter by giving you a ton of extra fiber and protein. Try adding a half cup of pulses three times a week with the Half-Cup Habit!

Egyptian Kosheri Rice Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Egyptian Kosheri Rice Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com Egyptian Kosheri Rice Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Egyptian Kosheri Rice Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

My favorite part of this dish, aside from the fried onions – which were ridiculously addictive – were the split peas. I know most people only use spilt peas for soup, but I really love the texture of them when they’re cooked to just tender, with a bit of bite. Mike’s favorite part was the tomato sauce. I really liked it too, I’ve never made such a quick tomato sauce that was so full of flavor. We are defintely keeping it in our tomato sauce back pocket.

Egyptian Kosheri Rice Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Egyptian Kosheri Rice Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

I’d say that our first foray into Egyptian food was a success. The only thing that I thought could be improved was the cooking time. Since you’re essentially cooking a bunch of carbs, tomato sauce, and fried onions, you have quite a bit of stuff going on. You can definitely cut it down by using canned chickpeas and making some of the things ahead of time. I know that some recipes cook the pasta and rice together, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it, even if it is more authentic.

Speaking of authentic, we added lemon zest and flat leaf parsley on top for a bit of color. Usually kosheri is a pretty monotone looking dish. When Mike sent a photo to our aforementioned friend, he said it looked awesome and delicious, but he also said that it would never be so green in Cairo. Oops!

Egyptian Kosheri Rice Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Anyway, authentic or not, I loved the different textures of all of the things and the spicy tomato sauce really brought everything together. You get the complex, earthy flavors of peas and chickpeas, tender pasta, and crispy-crunchy fried onions, all tied together by the vinegary tangy sauces. Kosheri is serious comfort food :)

Egyptian Kosheri Rice Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Egyptian Kosheri Rice Recipe
serves 4-6

Garlic Vinegar Dakka Sauce

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. aleppo powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Kosheri Base

  • 1/2 cup dry spilt peas, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup dry chickpeas, soaked overnight or canned chickpeas, drained
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 cups short pasta of choice (I used short vermicelli)
  • kosher salt

Fried Onions

  • grapeseed oil
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced
  • kosher salt

Tomato Sauce

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bird’s eye chili, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon crushed aleppo peppers
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • freshly ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

To serve, optionally:

  • lemon zest
  • lemon wedges, for a bit of juice
  • flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

adapted from Matters of the Belly and Ottolenghi

Make the garlic vinegar dakka sauce by mixing everything together. Set aside.

Rinse off the split peas and chickpeas. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Salt generously and bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until pulses are tender but still have bite. Drain well.

While the pulses are cooking, cook the rice. In a pot, combine the basmati with 2 and half cups of water as well as a generous sprinkling of salt.. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and immediately turn down to low. Cook for 17 minutes, without peeking. Turn the heat off and let sit, with the lid on, for another 10 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, cook the pasta in salted water according to the package. Rinse and drain well.

While the carbs are cooking, heat up 2 inches of oil in a deep skillet over medium high heat. Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are crips and lightly browned (they will continue to brown slightly while out of the oil), about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove from the oil, spread out, and drain on paper towels.

In a sauce pan, heat up a bit of the onion oil, about 2-4 tablespoons, over medium heat. Add the garlic, chili, cumin, coriander, aleppo and sugar. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and white vinegar and simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and season with freshly ground nutmeg, salt and pepper.

To serve: build a bowl with the rice, pasta, and pulses. Top with fried onions, tomato sauce, and a sprinkling of dakka. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and flat leaf parsley if desired. Mix everything up and enjoy!

This post was sponsored by USA Pulses. Thanks for supporting I am a Food Blog!


  1. Joy says:

    I’ve made this and cheated by using pre-fried shallots from my Asian grocery store. Sooo good!

  2. Becca says:

    This sounds fantastic! A great way to use peas and chickpeas :)

  3. Brad says:

    Made this tonight. Didn’t have all the ingredients, but it still turned out great!. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Sandra Kuolt says:

    is this for a side dish or a main dish. I need to make for a wedding as a side dish 150 people and I am wondering how many times I should increase the recipe??

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi sandra,
      we had it as a main dish :)

  5. Paul Barratt says:

    Just seen this in the Lake District in the north of England and will try it as soon as we get home . Thanks

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