clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Egyptian koshari on a plate

Egyptian Koshari Recipe (The Best I've Had)

  • Author: Lilian B.
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Koshari is a hearty vegan meal of lentil rice, chickpeas, spicy vinegar tomato sauce, pasta, and fried onions. This Egyptian koshari recipe is authentic and perfect for meal prepping.


Units Scale
  • 4 medium onions (about 1.5 lbs)
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas (or 2 - 15 ounce cans of chickpeas)** See note 3
  • 1/2 bag of 1 lb spaghetti
  • 1/2 bag of 1 lb elbow pasta
  • 1 cup dried brown lentils
  • 2 cups dry Calrose rice (or short-grain rice) **See note 4
  • 8 whole tomatoes (about 2 lbs or 1 kg in weight)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 9 garlic cloves
  • 1 bell pepper (size of a clenched fist)
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • ground cumin
  • ground coriander
  • 2 limes
  • oil for frying (preferably sunflower oil)** See note 5
  • flour (to toss the onions in prior to frying)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • chili flakes or cayenne powder (optional)
  • 1 spicy chili (optional)


Soak Dry Lentils and Dry Chickpeas Ahead of Time

  1. Soak the dried lentils and dried chickpeas in water for 3 hours prior to making koshari.

Prepare the Chickpeas

  1. See note 3 if using canned chickpeas. Boil 1 cup of dried chickpeas until semi-cooked (about 45 minutes to an hour). Drain water.
  2. Add fresh water and 1/2 tbsp of cumin. Boil chickpeas a second time for another 30 minutes.
  3. Once chickpeas are cooked, squeeze 1/2 of a lime over chickpeas.

Fry The Onions

  1. Chop 2 medium onions into circles. Mix with flour and set aside for 30 minutes prior to frying.
  2. Fry in oil, preferrably sunflower oil. Using a frying spatula, remove the onions from the oil. Set onto a paper towel and set aside.
  3. Keep the sunflower oil to use some of it in other parts of the recipe.

Make the Fresh Red Sauce

  1. Blend 3 tomatoes, 1 bell pepper, 1/2 medium onion, and 3 garlic cloves in the food processor.
  2. If you would like a spicy sauce, add 1 spicy pepper.
  3. Add 1/2 tsp of ground cumin, 1/2 tsp of ground coriander, 1 tbsp of oil (from the fried onions), salt, and pepper. Add juice from 1 lime.
  4. Blend and set aside.

Make the Koshari Rice

  1. Blend 1.5 medium onions in a food processor.
  2. In a high-rimmed stovetop pot, add 2 tbsp of oil (from the fried onions). Cook the onions on medium heat for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the brown lentils (these will be about 2.25 cups after being soaked) and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes.
  4. Turn down heat to medium-low. Add 2 cups of dry rice and 1 more cup of water.
  5. Add salt and pepper. Mix the koshari rice and cover.
  6. Continue to cook on medium-low heat covered until the rice has finished cooking (about 12 minutes).
  7. Turn off the stove and allow the rice to rest covered for 5 minutes.

Cook the Pasta

  1. Boil water and add about 1 tbsp of salt.
  2. Break the spaghetti pasta in half, then break the half again making quarter-size sections of spaghetti. Break about 15 spaghetti noodles at the same time.
  3. Add the spaghetti pasta and elbow pasta to the boiling water.
  4. Cook the pasta until desired firmness.
  5. Drain the pasta and set it aside.

Koshari Vinegar Red Sauce

  1. Blend 5 medium tomatoes in a blender. Strain tomatoes into a bowl.
  2. Fry 2 tbsp of oil (or ghee) with 1 tsp chili flakes (or chili powder) for 30 seconds then add 5 minced garlic cloves.
  3. Add 2 tbsp of tomato paste and 2 tbsp of vinegar for about 30 seconds before adding the blended tomatoes.
  4. Add 1 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp of coriander, 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp sugar, and 1 tsp of ground pepper.
  5. Boil for about 10 minutes.


  1. Store koshari rice, pasta, fresh red sauce, koshari vinegar red sauce, fried onions, and chickpeas separately in the fridge for up to 5 days. 
  2. Whole wheat pasta is a suitable substitution.
  3. Substitute 2 cans of chickpeas (15-ounce cans) for 1 cup of dried chickpeas. Because canned chickpeas are already cooked, just drain the chickpeas. Boil for 5 minutes in water with 1/2 tbsp of ground cumin. Then squeeze 1/2 a lime on top.
  4. Use Calrose rice, Egyptian rice, or Japanese short-grain rice for this recipe. If using medium or long-grain rice, the water ratio will need to be adjusted.
  5. After frying the onions, save the frying oil. Use some of the frying oil in other parts of the recipe.
  6. The nutrition facts do not factor in the oil from frying the onions.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Egyptian


  • Serving Size: 3 cups
  • Calories: 528 calories
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Sodium: 161 mg
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 10 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 90 g
  • Fiber: 28 g
  • Protein: 58 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: egyptian koshari, koshary, kushari, koshari, egyptian lentils and rice, egyptian national dish

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes