Egyptian Lentil and Rice Pasta (Koshary)

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


The ultimate Egyptian street food, this rib-sticking dish consists of two pastas, two pulses, fried onions for a crunchy contrast, and a spiced tomato sauce that ties it all together.


  • 4 oz. ditalini or macaroni, cooked
  • 2 oz. spaghetti, cooked
  • 4 oz. brown lentils, rinsed
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 cup cooked basmati rice (optional)
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 14 cup flour
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 12 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 14 tsp. ground ginger
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar


Step 1

Combine ditalini and spaghetti in a bowl; set aside. Put lentils and 4 cups water into a 2-qt. saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, 20 minutes. Season lentils with salt, drain, and transfer to a bowl along with rice and chickpeas; set aside.

Step 2

Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Put flour into a bowl, add onions, and toss to coat. Working in 2 batches, add onions to hot oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer onions to paper towels to drain; reserve oil.

Step 3

Spoon 4 tbsp. oil from skillet into a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, cumin, cayenne, and ginger; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and vinegar and bring to a simmer; cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and remove from heat. To serve, divide pasta mixture between 4 bowls; top with lentil mixture and fried onions. Spoon tomato sauce over each bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature.