Almost everyone has a secret recipe or a personal touch. And because California Garden encourages you to add a touch of you, discover this section for some inspiration on how to swap, substitute and merge ingredients to come up with your own personal version of traditional and international recipes!
Kushari – also spelled Koshari – is the national dish of Egypt and is a genius way to combine pantry staples as it consists of rice, lentils, pasta and chickpeas; all smothered with a mouthwatering tomato sauce and topped with crispy fried onions.
Now if you like adding your own special touch to traditional meals, learn how to prepare Egyptian kushari only with a tiny twist.
Crispy onions are the first to prepare and the last to add. To prepare the onions, just place them in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and enough flour to coat them. Shake off excess flour, then deep fry over medium heat. Be careful though! Onions should be nicely caramelized but not burnt. And make sure you absorb the excess oil with kitchen paper for a crispier finish!
Kushari sauce can really be used with just about any pasta or rice dish. It adds a tangy flavor and compliments this dish perfectly! Prepare it while you’re frying the onions to save time.
In a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil then add 1 chopped onion and cook until translucent. Add 3 crushed garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon coriander then sauté until soften. Stir in 4 cups tomato sauce and simmer over low heat until thick. Season with salt, add around 1 tablespoon of white vinegar then lower the heat and keep warm.
In a pot, boil 1½ cups of picked over and rinsed lentils until half cooked so they could finish cooking with the rice. Combine lentils with 1½ cups of drained rice and stir in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, coriander, salt and black pepper to taste. Add 3 cups of water bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes until water is absorbed. Once ready, use a fork to fluff the ingredients.
While the rice and lentils are cooking, boil 2 cups of elbow pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain well and set aside.
Now instead of boiling chickpeas, replace them with ready to eat California Garden fava beans, Lebanese recipe that includes fava beans and chickpeas. So instead of spending hours preparing kushari, you will only need 90 minutes at most!
Now that everything is ready, it’s time to combine the ingredients to create Egypt’s favorite main course! In a serving dish, scoop in the rice-lentils mixture, followed by the boiled pasta. Add half the tomato sauce, and then top with California Garden Fava beans, Lebanese recipe. Smother with the rest of your tomato sauce and garnish with crispy onions. Enjoy!