Egyptian Comfort Food – Kushari
- 200g Basmati Rice
- 200g Split Peas
- 200g Macaroni Pasta
- 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
- 1 Chicken Stock Cube
- 2 Red Onions
- 50g Butter
On paper this can seem like an odd dish. Rice and lentils and pasta? Together? I wasn’t entirely sold myself until I tried it. You see the big selling point here is how incredibly satisfying it is to eat! Kushari is the national dish of Egypt and it is eaten everywhere from street corners to palaces to fast food shops after a heavy night on the town. It’s cooked in chicken stock and served with sweet, caramelised onions on top and often with a spicy tomato sauce. As simple as it is, it’s a dish that holds a very special, homely place in the hearts of many Egyptian people just like mashed potato and lamb stew does for us.
All your comfort food ingredients.
Add the rice, cumin and stock cube to a small pan along with 300g boiling water.
Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to a low heat for about ten minutes and then turn it off.
Boil the pasta, once it’s cooked drain it and set aside.
Boil the dried split peas. They should take about 25/30 minutes.
Peel and finely slice the onions.
Melt the butter with a tablespoon of sunflower oil in a medium pan.
Add in the onions and cook over a low heat for about thirty minutes.
Once they start to go dark, sweet and jammy then you know you are good to go.
Next is just assembly. In a large bowl, mix together the split peas, rice and pasta with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Also at this point season the rice really well. This dish could be in danger of being a bit bland but with the onions and a good pinch of salt it will be spot on.
Pour it all onto a large serving platter and smother the top with the buttery onions. What’s not to love?
I have really grown fond of this dish recently and I definitely think you will too if you give it a go. Especially at it at 3am after a trip to the battle cruiser.