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Kushari is a delicious Egyptian vegetarian recipe consisting of green lentils, macaroni and rice mixed together with caramelised onions. It is served with a tomato-based sauce, finished with a crispy onion garnish and is best accompanied by a garden salad.
• oil, for deep-frying
• 2 onions, finely sliced
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 small onion, finely diced
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 250 g tomato paste
• 1 tsp baharat
• salt and pepper
• chilli flakes (optional)
• 250 ml water
Rice, macaroni and lentils
• olive oil
• 1 cup medium-grain rice
• 1 cup green lentils, rinsed until the water runs clear
• 2 cups small macaroni
• 2 large onions, finely sliced
• 1 tsp baharat
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Prepare the onion garnish by heating sufficient oil in a saucepan, adding the onions and deep-frying until dark brown. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towel. Leave to cool.
To make the sauce, place a saucepan over moderate heat and add the oil and onion. Cook until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and fry to pale brown. Stir in the tomato paste and baharat and add salt, pepper and chilli flakes (if using) to taste. Add the water and simmer for 15–20 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by half. Remove from the heat.
Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a separate saucepan over moderate heat. Add the rice and 1 tsp of salt and fry for 2 minutes, then add 500 ml of water. Stir well and bring to the boil. Once boiling, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the rice is cooked.
Meanwhile, place the lentils in another saucepan with 500 ml of water and simmer until tender then drain. In another saucepan boil the macaroni with a little salt until al dente then drain. Heat 80 ml of olive oil in a frying pan and cook the onions until soft and caramelised.
To serve, reheat the tomato sauce. Place the hot macaroni in a large serving dish and coat with a little extra olive oil. Add the hot rice, lentils and caramelised onions and mix through. Sprinkle with the baharat and pour over the desired amount of tomato sauce. Garnish with the crispy onions.