Widely considered a national dish of Egypt, Kosheri is a comforting, filling, and protein packed dish. Sometimes spelled koshary or kushari, this dish traditionally incorporates white rice, broken pieces of pasta, and an oily tomato sauce. While this combination makes for the perfect street food, a few tweaks elevate kosheri to a healthy dish worthy of a dinner party, and render it no less flavorful or satisfying than the original. Lentils, quinoa, and chickpeas pack a hefty does of high quality vegan protein, and by swapping the starchy pasta and rice for super-food quinoa, you can enjoy this Egyptian favorite without the guilt or bellyache. Tomatoes provide lycopene, which bolsters the health of your heart, skin, eyes, and bones, and cooking them simply with a little olive oil provides a delicious flavor contribution to the nutty kosheri. Whatever leftovers you might have make the perfect lunch to bring to work the next day.
- 1/3 cup green or brown lentils
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, or two smaller yellow onions, cut into half moons
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 4 medium size tomatoes
- Chopped fresh parsley, to serve
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, and add the lentils along with a pinch of salt, and simmer for 20 minutes until the lentils are tender. Drain them and set aside.
- In a small pan, heat a splash of olive oil, and add the chopped tomatoes. Allow this to cook down until the tomatoes have broken down and some of the liquid has cooked off. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet, and add the onions and garlic. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, until the onions have caramelized and turned golden brown.
- To the onions, add the spices, quinoa, lentils, and chickpeas, and toss everything together to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, adding more of any spice if needed. Serve the kosheri with the tomato sauce spooned over, and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.