Kushari originated in the mid 19th century, during a time when Egypt was a multi-cultural country and the economy was booming. The lower class's usually limited pantry became full with a myriad of ingredients: lentils, rice, macaroni, chickpeas, tomato sauce, onions, garlic, oil, vinegar, etc. At the end of the month, families would usually have a little left of everything, so families would use it up by putting it all together into a tasty dish.
Koshari is widely popular among workers and laborers. It may be prepared at home or served at roadside stalls and restaurants all over Egypt; some restaurants specialize in kushari to the exclusion of other dishes, while others feature it as an item among many. As it does not contain any animal products, it can be considered vegan so long as all frying uses vegetable oil.