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Egyptian food Koshary.jpg
TypeMixed-rice dish
CourseMain course
Place of originEgypt
Serving temperaturewarm or hot
Main ingredientsrice, lentils, macaroni, tomato sauce, vegetable oil, onions, cumin, coriander
Variationschickpeas, hot sauce, garlic juice, vinegar, short spaghetti

Koshary, kushari or koshari (Egyptian Arabic: كشري [ˈkoʃɑɾi]) is Egypt's national dish and a widely popular street food.[1] An Egyptian dish that originated during the mid-19th century, the dish combines Italian and Arab culinary elements. Koshary is made of rice, macaroni, and lentils mixed together,[2] topped with a spiced tomato sauce and garlic vinegar and garnished with chickpeas and crispy fried onions. It is often served with sprinklings of garlic juice; garlic vinegar and hot sauce are optional.


Koshary originated in the mid-19th century, during a time when Egypt was a multicultural country in the midst of an economic boom. It consists of fried onions, lentils, rice, macaroni and lemon sauce. It is somewhat related to Mediterranean cuisine, but the Egyptian dish has different ingredients and flavors, especially the local Egyptian lemon sauce giving it the unique taste the dish is popular of.[3]

It is thought to have a link with a different dish called khichdi, though the addition of macaroni seems to have more links with the Mediterranean cuisines.[4]

Koshary used to be sold on food carts in its early years, and was introduced to restaurants later.[3]

This dish is widely popular among workers and laborers and the dish is well-suited to mass catering events such as conferences. It may be prepared at home, and is also served at roadside stalls and restaurants all over Egypt; some restaurants specialize in koshary to the exclusion of other dishes, while others feature it as one item among many.[5] As traditionally prepared koshary does not contain any animal products, it can be considered vegan, as long as all frying uses vegetable oil.


Alexandrian koshary is quite different from other koshary recipes, with significant variations in taste and form. the process of cooking includes yellow lentils and rice, it also uses curry and cumin in the rice, which gives the koshary a uniform color. Also included are Egyptian rolled eggs, which are boiled then fried in ghee or butter, as well as lightly pickled tomatoes instead of tomato sauce and French fries on the side.[6]

Koshary has also gained popularity in other Arab countries in recent years, especially in Eastern Arabia and Yemen. There are variations in each country or region, such as adding grilled vegetables and using basmati rice cooked either white or yellow. Other recipes of these regions include using other shapes of macaroni. The recipes could include chicken as well, making them closer to kabsa in some cases.[7]

The dish is served in Japanese carts and has some additions added on top of the original recipe. Additional ingredients, which are not typically found in Egyptian recipes, are basil chicken, raw tomatoes, sour cream, fried eggs, Cheddar sauce, avocado slices, and spicy powder with jalapeño.[8]

Instant koshary[9] is similar to instant noodles in preparation.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Galloway, Lindsey (13 January 2020). "Why 2020 is the year to visit Cairo". BBC Travel. Archived from the original on 2020-02-12.
  2. ^ Yogerst, Joe (2020-01-15). "Food in Egypt: 13 delicious dishes and drinks you shouldn't miss". CNN. Retrieved 2020-09-14. Koshary: One of Egypt's most popular dishes is a carb-packed combination of macaroni, rice and beans flavored with tomatoes, onions, garlic and whatever else the chef feels like tossing in.
  3. ^ a b Parvi, Shahrokh (6 March 2016). "Cheap, healthy and oh so tasty: the best kushari in Cairo". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 6 January 2018. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  4. ^ 'Khichuri': An Ancient Indian Comfort Dish With A Global Influence, NPR. 20 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Kushari recipe". Whats4eats.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
  6. ^ "كشري اسكندراني بالصور من Alaa Abbas". كوكباد (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 2020-07-26. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  7. ^ "كشري خليجي بالخضار والدجاج بالصور". forums.graaam.com. Archived from the original on 2020-07-26. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  8. ^ "エジプトめしコシャリ屋さん". koshary-yasan.hungry.jp. Archived from the original on 2020-07-26. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  9. ^ "الكشري أصبح مجفف في عبوة سريعة التحضير: "أخيرا هناكله المصيف"". alwan.elwatannews.com. Retrieved 2021-02-11.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Kushari at Wikimedia Commons