Three things contributed to me doing this recipe today:
First, I messed up this weekend for the Chicken Cacciatore recipe I was going to post. I forgot to take pictures as I went along, and didn’t realize it until everything was already loaded up in the slow cooker! Grr. It turned out great, but I will have to make it again and actually document it.
Second, a couple of my friends that have been reading this blog have commented, “You need to do some vegetarian recipes!” Vegetarian recipes have been on my to-do list, but I haven’t gotten that far yet. I have been aiming more at the omnivore audience so far, but there’s plenty of great things to make that don’t have to have meat.
Third, I read about this delicious-sounding Egyptian comfort food called “Koshari”, which happens to also be vegetarian, and I wanted to try my hand at making it.
So here we are, my attempt at Koshari. This is much more like “real cooking” than the beginner level cooking which this blog is supposed to be about, but it’s still pretty simple. Rather than do a full workup and file it in the Recipes section, I’m just going to write it up here in this post. I will write it up more formally some time in the future, when I’ve done some more of the lessons-along-the-way that a true beginner would want to learn before trying something like this.
- 0.75 cup brown rice
- 0.75 cup dried lentils
- 3.5 cups water
- 14.5 oz can chickpeas, drained
- 1 cup dried elbow macaroni, or equivalent amount of other dried pasta (if using spaghetti, break it into short pieces)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 tsp (about 4 cloves) minced garlic
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 0.5-1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
- 2 14.5 oz cans petite diced chopped tomatoes
- 2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder or concentrate (I used Vegetable Better ‘N Bouillon)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 tbsp vinegar (pretty much any flavor will do, I used red wine vinegar)
Put the rice, lentils, and water into the rice cooker and set it to “Cook”. It will take longer to cook than the rest of the recipe, so set a timer for about 20 minutes before starting the other ingredients. If it finishes cooking before the rest of the recipe, leave it running on “keep warm” until the rest is done.
After the 20 minutes, put the olive oil into a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the onion in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, and red pepper flakes, and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly to avoid burning the spices. Add the tomatoes, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and add the bouillon powder/concentrate, salt, sugar, and vinegar, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken as it cooks.
When you start the tomatoes cooking, also start a small pot of water boiling for the pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions while the sauce is still cooking.
In a large serving bowl, mix the rice and lentils, the drained chickpeas, and the drained cooked pasta. Serve portions of the mixture with portions of the sauce ladled on top. Makes MANY servings, I’d say 8 or so. Makes great leftovers.