Kushari is an Egyptian street food and ultimate carby comfort dish. Not many of us out there would put rice, pasta and vermicelli noodles together in one dish, but the Egyptians do it and it's brilliant! The lentils are mildly flavoured but the tomato sauce packs a punch and those caramelized onions just top it all off! I know some people like their sauce extra spicy but only you will know how much chili to add today. Some people also add cooked chickpeas so go ahead and add those if you want!
I'll try and simplify the order of cooking for you in order of what takes longer so you can work optimally. I think you can do everything in 45 mins if you have a good flow going!
Start cooking the lentils and rice first........then stick the onions on..... tomato sauce..... macaroni...... vermicelli. Then it's blending the sauce and piling it all together (if you can get it looking pretty then pat yourself on the back. If not, eat it quickly ;)
PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOK TIME 40 MINS | TOTAL 50 MINS
1 cup green lentils (picked over and washed)
1 cup macaroni
1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup vermicelli noodles (the short ones)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 cube vegetable stock
salt to season
1 tbsp oil
1/2 onion (roughly chopped)
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
1/2-1 chilli (roughly chopped)
7 med tomatoes (roughly chopped)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the lentils in 2 cups of water for roughly 30 mins or until just soft then crumble half a stock cube in or add salt to season and the cumin. Continue cooking for another 5 mins. Remove from the heat.
In the meantime cook the rice according to package instructions. Again crumble in stock near the end of cooking time.
Cook the pasta in salted water.
Cook the vermicelli noodles in salted noodles.
While everything is cooking start to caramelize the onions in the oil. Stir every now again becoming more frequent as they begin to brown. Add salt near the end.
To make the tomato sauce, fry the onion in the oil with the chilli. When onions are starting to brown add the garlic and the tomato paste and stir.
Add the vinegar and stir to un-stick everything from the bottom of the pan.
Add the fresh tomatoes and simmer until the tomatoes have broken down nicely. Add splashes of water if the tomatoes aren't lovely and juicy today. Blend once it's all looking lovely and a sauce-like! Season to taste.
Now all the elements are ready it's time to stack! The bottom layer is rice followed by vermicelli noodles. Top with a layer of macaroni and then lentils. you can serve like this with the tomato sauce and onions on the side for guests to do themselves or you can add the sauce and top with onions and serve complete.