Cheapo Cooking Episode IV: Kushari

Hey everyone!

Tonight boys and girls we are making kushari. Kushari is a popular Egyptian national dish made with lentils and rice topped with a hot spicy tomato sauce and is my new favourite dinner. It is cheap as chips to make, which is why you can often buy it over in road side stalls for next to nothing. The recipe made here is from our wonderful Ripe Deli Cookbook.

Doesn't that look tasty?

Now originally when I thought of lentils, a mushy hippy-commune style of food came to mind. Bleh. Especially when you see them come out of the can. Yes we got the lentils from a can. Why? because we are lazy slaves to the convenience drone. Haha slash who can be bothered soaking their lentils overnight? Anyway keep buying convenience food. Making stuff for you to buy is what my future job will be, so keep buying so I will still have a job.

Mum got that can for $1.83, but you can get cans as low as $1.65. Bargain. The only expensive bits are the nuts and the olive oil. 

So here is how you make it:

Kushari - as told by the Ripe Deli Cookbook

serves 4-6

Lentils and Rice:

1 cup green lentils (we used brown)
50g butter
1 cup basmati rice
2 cups chicken stock (vegetable stock will do for you vegos out there :) )
1 teaspoon sumac (its a red-purpley coloured spice used in middle eastern dishes to add a lemony flavour to meats and other dishes. We didn't have any so we skipped this out. Not the end of the world).
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 onions peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup toasted pistachios
1 cup fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped

Spicy Tomato Sauce:

1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3 red chillis, de-seeded and finely sliced.
400g can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup cider vinegar/white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika (we use la chinata smoked paprika)
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped

I know this seems like a long list of ingredients, but it's really not. Bear with me :)

Now we are assuming your lentils are already cooked (if they are from a can they are cooked and soft).

To prepare the spicy tomato sauce:

In a saucepan over high heat add the oil, garlic and chillis and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, water, vinegar, salt, cumin and paprika. Bring to the boil then lower the heat and leave to simmer for 30 minutes until thickened.

Stir in the fresh coriander leaves. 

Taste to see if more salt, pepper or coriander is needed.

To prepare the rice and lentils:

In a saucepan over a high heat, melt the butter and then add the rice. Cook for 1 minute stirring constantly. 

Add the stock, water, sumac, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt and pepper.

Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for 12 minutes before removing from the heat.

Cover and set aside for 12 minutes (to let the rice cook).

While the rice is cooking prepare the onions.

In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil to a medium heat and slowly cook the sliced untils until dark gold in colour. This should take approximately 20 minutes.

Break the cooked rice up with a fork.

In a large bowl mix together the lentils (drained), rice, toasted pistachios, fresh parsley and coriander and 2/3 of the cooked onions.

Season with salt and pepper and pile high on a platter. 

Top with the remaining onions.

Once individual portions are served, pour the hot tomato sauce over the top.

 The rice was really tasty even without the tomato sauce. It would be a really tasty summer salad as well.

Every spoonful is different.

Enjoy! we sure did :)

See you later!