Hello, Readers! As you likely know, I sent out a call for submissions of heart healthy recipes and am making a donation to the American Heart Association in honor of my mom based on the number of submissions I receive (see details here). What follows is my dad’s recipe submission.
I was fortunate enough to take part in the shopping for ingredients and the eating of this meal. It was delicious. My dad doesn’t have a blog, but wrote an entire story about this meal so I thought I’d share it with all of you. Enjoy!
Hi. Jey’s dad here.
In 2009 I was fortunate to be sent on business to Cairo, Egypt. I never thought in a million years that I’d ever see the Sphinx or the Pyramids, but there I was.
Cairo is a beautiful city, filled with wonders. The people were friendly everywhere I went. I have a “little brother” there, with whom I still keep in touch. Here he is with his family. Ahmed’s the second from the right.
The food there was amazing. I actually had the best Korean BBQ that I’ve ever had anywhere!! One night I had a wonderful dish called koshary. It turns out that it’s the national dish of Egypt. Koshary is popular and inexpensive. Restaurants specializing in koshary are as common there as McDonald’s is here. My little brother Ahmed took me to the koshary restaurant pictured here:
After dinner that evening we went out for coffee at…where else?…Starbucks!!
Ahmed’s mother was kind enough to give me her recipe for koshary, and I’ve made it a number of times. It’s especially wonderful on cold Chicago days.
One of the big challenges with cooking for my wife is that she needs to watch her sodium intake. Last week I decided to make koshary for the family. I was able to find most of the ingredients with 0mg of sodium at Whole Foods. It turned out great. So here is my version of low sodium koshary:
Koshary - adapted from a friend’s recipe
- 8 oz. Whole Wheat Elbow Pasta
- 8 oz. Whole Wheat Angel Hair Pasta
- 1 Cup Brown Rice, cooked
- 4 oz. Brown Lentils
- 15 oz. Can Garbanzo Beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 Cup Canola Oil
- 2 Onions, thinly sliced
- 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. Ground Cumin
- 1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
- 1/4 tsp. Ground Ginger
- 28 oz. Can Unpeeled, No Salt Added Crushed Tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
- Hot Sauce (optional)
Cook the pastas per directions in water with a tablespoon of olive oil. Rinse and set aside in a large bowl. Add cooked rice to bowl and mix.
Simmer lentils for approximately 20 minutes after water begins to boil. Drain and add to the pasta and rice mixture. Add garbanzo beans to mixture.
Heat canola oil in a stick-free pan. When it begins to smoke, add onions. Stir for 7-10 minutes, until onions become crispy. Remove from pan and place on paper towels. Reserve oil.
Transfer 4 tablespoons of the oil from the pan into a saucepan and add garlic and spices. Heat for a minute or two.
Add tomatoes and red wine vinegar to saucepan and continue cooking for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat.
Divide pasta/rice/lentil/bean mixture into individual bowls. Spoon tomato sauce onto mixture and top off with fried onions.
Koshary is usually served with a freshly made hot sauce. I use Tabasco.