What’s your go-to order from a food truck or street food vendor? Look to the Mediterranean for inspiration! Sahar from Koshari Mama in Lowell, Massachusetts explains why the rice and lentil dish koshari is Egypt’s favorite street food. 

What is koshari?
Koshari is a national dish of Egypt—a beloved street food you can find throughout the country. It’s made from a mixture of rice, macaroni, lentils, and chickpeas, topped with tomato sauce, garlic sauce, and crispy fried onions. There’s a lot to love! Koshari is hearty, vegan, and a whole meal in one dish.

Is koshari spicy?
Koshari can range from very mild to very spicy. The spiciness will depend on the sauces and condiments. These might include the mild el-hady tomato and garlic sauce, the medium-spice el-sha’ee sauce, and the extra spicy shatta and narr sauces. 

Where does koshari come from?
According to Koshari Mama, many agree that it is a close cousin of the Middle-Eastern lentil dish moujadarra. It may also have roots in the Indian rice and lentil dish khichri.

Koshari is mentioned in Richard Burton’s famous Thousand and One Nights, although it wasn’t until the 1940’s that macaroni was added to the recipe. 

Thanks to Koshari Mama for proving information for this post! Looking for more information like this? Discover dozens of delicious recipes like this one with our  Make Every Day Mediterranean cookbook. 

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