Sunday, February 12, 2012

180.6 (Time for a recipe...)

Egyptian Kushari

I was watching Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations: Cairo a while back and he was waxing poetic about a super simple dish called “kushari” that is essentially Cario’s fast/comfort food.  Extraordinarily cheap, rapid and very easy to make, it can be very high carb, but is also very high in protein. I skipped the make-the-hot-sauce portion and used Trader Joe’s fab spicy tomato chutney which is a) great, b) pre-made, but now, sadly c) discontinued.  Regardless, I think this is dinner tonight, so it'll be a fast-on-Sunday to account for the massive dinner calories!  May add a home-made zaatar safeeha.


  • 1lb dried brow lentils
  • 1 12oz can garbanzos
  • 2 cups dried short-grain rice of choice (but I see quinoa working well here too)
  • 1/2 lb spaghetti of choice
  • 1/2 lb elbow macaroni of choice
  • 1 extra large or 2 med sweet onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp olive or peanut oil
  • 1 bullion cube
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pint apple cider (or white) vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 lemon (cut into wedges)
Sauce Options
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp-tbsp of chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • Trader Joe’s Spicy Tomato Chutney
  1. Prepare pastas per package directions and set aside.
  2. Prepare rice per package directions, but dissolve bullion cube into cooking water before adding rinsed rice.
  3. Peel and chop garlic and add to bottle of vinegar, along with brown sugar. As this ages, it will get a more intense garlic flavor.
  4. Prepare lentils per package instructions.
  5. Heat garbanzos in stove-pot or microwave to cook through and slightly soften.
  6. Using a mandolin or by hand, slice onion(s) thinly and fry in oil until dark brown and caramelized.
  7. If making hot sauce, simmer tomato sauce in a pot with seasonings added.

In a large bowl, add rice, then pastas. Spoon lentils to cover half the bowl, then garbanzos on the other half. Top liberally with fried onions and tomato sauce. Serve hot with vinegar condiment and a lemon wedge.

Yes, it’s carbapalooza, but also has a great deal of protein with the lentils and garbanzos. I think you can reduce the carb impact by using brown rice and whole wheat pasta. Bourdain says it sits in your stomach like a bag of nickels. I don’t see that as a bad thing…

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