As the months get colder, it somehow feels more acceptable to dig into a huge bowl of carbs. But not just one kind, mind you, no, it has to be layers upon layers of different carbs, with sauce and crispy shallots over the top.
Introducing my Koshari recipe – a carb lover’s winter dream come true or rice, pasta, lentils, chickpeas, a tomato based sauce, crispy shallots, garlic vinegar and hot sauce. And of course, my twist on it with Persian rice, because the Persian in my house wouldn’t have it any other way.
And how can you go wrong with butter and rice?
Bonus points: it’s vegetarian, and if you use oil instead of butter, it can be vegan too!
- 1 cup of basmati rice
- 1 tsp tumeric* (optional)
- 1 tbsp oil (optional)
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 cup dried green lentils
- 150g dried spaghetti/macaroni
- 1 tbsp oil
- 400g (1 can) chickpeas, drained
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 800g (2 cans) diced tomato
- 3 tsp baharat*
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp cumin
- Hot sauce of your choice
- Fried shallots
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil with salt.
- Rinse the basmati rice briefly, then place carefully into the boiling water.
- If not cooking using the Persian method, then boil till the rice is fully cooked, and strain.
- If cooking using the Persian method, boil till the rice grains are half cooked, with a streak of opaque white still visible in the grain.
- Strain the rice, and in the large pot, heat the oil with a teaspoon of turmeric.
- Add the rice back into the pot, with 2 tablespoons of water.
- Cover with a lid, and cook over low heat for about 30min, or until the rice has finished cooking in the steam.
- Cover the dried lentils in water, and soak for 30 minutes.
- Strain the lentils, and bring a large pot of salted boiling water to the boil.
- Boil the lentils for about 10 minutes, or till they are tender but retain a slight bite to it
- Bring a pot of salted boiling water to the boil.
- If using spaghetti, break it up by placing it in the centre of a clean tea towel.
- Roll the tea towel up long ways, and grasp the two overhanging sides.
- Run the towel wrapped spaghetti on the corner of a kitchen bench till the it breaks into bite sized pieces.
- Boil the pasta for about 10 mins, or until al dente.
- Finely dice the onion and garlic.
- Saute in a wide pan over medium heat with a pinch of salt and baharat spice till softened.
- Add the diced tomatoes and cook till reduced by half.
- If a smoother sauce is preferred, you can blend the tomato sauce in a blender after it's been cooked.
- Roughly chop garlic
- Lightly crush the cumin using a mortar and pestle or the bottom of a clean sauce pan
- Place into a small pot with vinegar and chopped garlic, and bring mixture to a boil.
- Turn the heat off and let cool to room temperature to infuse.
- Layer a large bowl or deep plate with rice, pasta, lentils, chickpeas, tomato sauce, and fried shallots.
- Serve with hot sauce and garlic vinegar.
- *To add more flavour, I cook the rice the Persian way. Traditionally, this recipe just has rice boiled in salted water, but if you'd like, you can take the extra steps for the extra flavour!
- **Baharat is a Middle Eastern mix of spices. This can vary slightly depending on the supplier of the mix, so I just get whatever I like the smell of.
Have you had koshari before? Or maybe you’ve got a favourite carb-heavy winter warmer? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!