I was really excited to try the koshari at Abou Tarek, one of the most well-known restaurants in Cairo.
Koshari (koshary / kushari) is a typical Egyptian dish. It’s very filling and is originally a peasant/lower class food. It is still very inexpensive (think $1 USD or less) with giant portions. It has rice, macaroni and vermicelli noodles as a base with cooked lentils and chickpeas on top. On top of that is a light, red sauce and fried onions. You can also add a lemon garlic sauce and/or hot sauce. I like both. And koshari is vegan so how exciting is that?
My first koshari was delivered to my house from Zooba; the restaurant also makes a whole grain version with wheat pasta and crushed wheat that I’d like to try. I’ve also had it from the local chain Koshary El Tahrir. But the one at Abou Tarek in downtown Cairo is the best because they make everything fresh, including frying the onions. The crispy onions make it magical.
I have to admit, the ingredient list of koshari doesn’t sound that impressive, but put all together, it works. I usually have pasta, lentils and red sauce at home so it’s easy to make my own quick version.