Introduction: Koshari - Meat Free (and Dairy Free), Cheap and Delicious

I LOVE this food. One of my coworkers brought me some once and I just had to learn how to make it (this is a staple food/popular food in Egypt from what I found out). Not only is this food very yummy but it is filling and you can make a big batch of it for $5-$10. I wanted to post something with very simple ingredients that pretty much everyone should have access to.

Side note: I think I became a better cook once I understood that cooking is not something that you need to stress over - not having all the tools or all of the ingredients is hardly something that should cause one to panic and run to the store (or quit all together...). I am going to list the ingredients and measurements I used but feel free to adjust them to your taste.


White rice (I used medium grain but I am sure Jasmine would be fine)

Elbow pasta

Olive oil

Tomato sauce (I used one big can - 29 oz)

Chickpeas (I used a 14.5 oz can)


Onions (I used red and I used two because I like lots of crispy onions on top)






Step 1: Make the Sauce

I like lots of onions and garlic so I used half of a large onion and 5 cloves of garlic (for the sauce. I used more onions for the crispy topping).

Grate your onion and garlic so they are very finely chopped.

Add about 2 tablespoons of oil to a frying pan and, when hot, add the onions and cook them until they are translucent/golden.

Add the garlic and let everything cook for a minute or so. Season the sauce with ground cumin, pepper and salt (I used one heaping teaspoon of cumin, 2-3 pinches of salt and 2-3 of pepper).

Add the tomato sauce and let everything simmer for about 20 minutes.

Step 2: Cook the Rice and Lentils

I used a wide mouth mason jar to measure everything and I used equal measures of rice, lentils and pasta. The jar is 1.5 cups (but I filled it so I might have used a little more).

Wash the lentils and add them to a pot. Add enough water to cover the lentils + 1 inch. Cook the lentils until they are almost fully cooked.

Wash the rice and add it to a pot. Add enough water to cover the rice + 1 inch. Cook the rice until it is almost fully cooked. Mix in the lentils. Add a teaspoon of cumin and salt to taste. Let both rice and lentils fully cook (add some more water if needed).

Note: I cooked rice like this for as long as I can remember and it works for me without fail regardless of the quantity of rice. Wash the rice until water runs clear. Add water to cover the rice and an extra inch (two fingers) of water on top. Bring the water to a boil and let it boil (on high) for 3-5 minutes. Cover the pot with a lid and turn the heat off. Let the rice sit covered for 15-20 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Step 3: Prepare the Toppings

Cook the pasta (follow the directions on the box :) )

Open the can of chickpeas, drain the liquid, rinse the chickpeas 2-3 times and warm them up.

Cut the onion in thin slices, sprinkle it with salt and add about 2-3 tablespoons of flour to coat the onion strips.

Add oil to a frying pan (I added enough to have 1/8-1/4 of an inch of oil on the bottom of the frying pan).

When the oil is hot, add the onion strips and let them get caramelized and crispy (you will need to flip them a few times).

Step 4: Time to Enjoy Your Food

Place the lentils and rice mixture at the bottom of the plate/platter.

Layer the pasta on top of the rice and lentil mixture.

Spoon the tomato sauce on top of the pasta.

Add the chickpeas on top of the sauce.

Put the crispy onion strings on top.

Dig in and enjoy!!!

Meat Free Meal Challenge

Participated in the
Meat Free Meal Challenge