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Exploring the Flavors of Egypt: A Culinary Journey with Delightful Dishes

We had all been looking forward to the Egyptian cooking week and it was finally here, Suzy whose family are originally from Egypt was showing us how to make the national dish of Egypt, Koshary.


Egyptian Koshary, koshari or kushari is one of the traditional Egyptian foods. This dish is considered the national dish of Egypt and a very popular street food. Egyptian koshari recipe is one of the easy Egyptian recipes.




As we were cooking Suzy told us about some of the Egyptian traditions.  It was very interesting to learn these new things, and interesting to see how most of the everyday things we have in our cupboard can be used in this recipe.   We all shared stories of different traditions we still follow from our childhoods!



Here is what some of our group told us:


Marya: I absolutely love the session. Very informal, relaxing and I learnt a lot. I enjoyed the process and especially loved the outcome of the crispy onion.

Savina: I felt very comfortable because it is a very mixed group. I realised I have all the spices used just sitting in my cupboard without being used. Now I know what to do with them. The best part for me is knowing that I can find all ingredients in my local shops.

Christine: for me, I was surprised to find out that even though vinegar was used, I could not taste it in the overall meal. I like the group and I was very comfortable because I was initially upset that my friend Charlotte did not turn up for the group. However, Lots of laughter and support from everyone.

Maureen: I was a bit worried about the amount of Chillies we put in but very surprising that the meal was not hot. I have gained a lot in today’s session, I have taken plenty of notes and will be trying this out at home. It was definitely my cup of tea.

Suzy: I enjoyed myself today. Even though my parents are originally from Egypt, this is my first time cooking this meal together with a group. I have also learnt about other cultures from this diverse group.

Dian: I love the food and am taking extra home with me so my son can try it.

Shabina: I enjoy cooking with the group. Even though I cook well, it was nice learning something new and different.

This recipe can be found on the internet but we are sharing Suzy’s family recipe for you to try.  Do let us know how it goes.


Thanks to Suzy for taking the time out to share her knowledge, we hope you will return to do another cooking session.

 

Koshary (serves 4-6)

Ingredients

4 tbls flour

2 cups vegetable oil

½ cup butter

1 bulb garlic

1lb onion

2 cups brown lentils

2 cups white long grain rice

2 cups crushed vermicelli noodles (may be hard to find, I’ll send pictures)

2 cups macaroni noodles

8 large tomatoes

1 cup tomato passata

4 tbls tomato paste

1 cup white vinegar

6 tbls ground cumin

6 tbls ground coriander

6 tbls chilli powder

2 tbls chilli flakes

Salt

Pepper

Water

 

Method

Crispy Onions

·        Thinly slice the onions and coat lightly with flour, season with salt

·        Heat oil in a pot and fry onions in small batches until crispy and golden brown

·        Let onions rest on paper towel to soak access oil

·        Strain and reserve oil onions were cooked in

Lentils

·        In a pot bring to boil 3 cups of water, add lentils, salt (to taste) and cumin (1 heaped teaspoon) and simmer for 20 minutes

·        Drain lentils and reserve lentil water

·        Before serving stir fry lentils in reserved onion infused oil

Pasta

·        Boil 3 cups of water and 1 cup reserved lentil water, and salt to taste

·        Add in pasta and boil for 8-10 minutes

·        Drain pasta

·        Before serving stir fry pasta in reserved onion infused water

Rice

·        Add ½ cup of reserved onion infused oil and butter to a pot

·        Once melted add crushed vermicelli noodles

·        Stir continuously until noodles are golden brown

·        Add rice and continue stirring for 3-5 minutes, until rice is toasted

·        Add 2 cups of reserved lentil water and 2 cups of water, salt to taste

·        Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked

Tomato Sauce

·        Chop tomatoes roughly into quarters

·        Add to pot and cover for 5-10 minutes until tomatoes are soft

·        Using a blender or hand blender, puree tomatoes

·        Strain and put to one side

·        In a pot add reserved onion infused oil and finely minced garlic, fry until fragrant

·        Add strained tomatoes, tomato puree and tomato passata

·        Add chilli flakes, coriander and cumin and salt and pepper to taste

Vinegar Dressing

·        In a pot add 1 cup of white vinegar and one cup water, bring to a boil

·        Add finely minced garlic, coriander, cumin and salt

·        Simmer for 5 minutes and remove from heat

Chickpeas

·        Drain from tin

·        Place on a baking sheet and heat for 5 minutes in a low temp oven

·        Reserve liquid from tin

Chilli Dressing

·        In reserved onion infused oil add chilli powder

·        Simmer for 5 minutes

·        Pour contents into a bowl and add a half cup of reserved chickpea liquid

·        Oil will float to the top while chilli powder will rest at the bottom with the chickpea liquid

To serve layer ingredients starting with rice, adding lentils, pasta, tomato sauce, fried onions, chickpeas and drizzling with vinegar and chilli dressing.




 

 

 

 

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