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 is a dish that holds a very special, homely place in the hearts of many Egyptian people.
Like our mashed potato or lamb stew, on the surface it could seem derivative or basic but because of that simplicity it holds a part of our culture and heritage and is a source of endless comfort for people when far away from home or feeling like the world is just a bit too big to tackle today.
200g Basmati Rice
200g Split Peas
200g Macaroni Pasta
1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
1 Chicken Stock Cube
2 Red Onions
-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 and sweet and jammy then you know you are good to go.
-Next it’s 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 a fondness for this dish over the last while 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.