Revolution Koshary - Guest Post by Buttered Up

One of the biggest payoffs of our growing blogging world is the opportunity to know people from different walks of life. Different cultures. Different personalities. Different lifestyles, all consumed by the same passion. Love for food and desire to share. The passion, which becomes the unifying force and foundation for many relationships and greater bondings. I'm happy to share with you all, one such discovery of an immensely talented blogger and writer. 

The moment I visited Sarah's  virtual world - Buttered Up, I was struck by it's individualistic personality.  And the more I read, and saw the amazing pics, I knew she was a girl with many layers. Not surprisingly, with her Indian-Egyptian parentage, childhood spent in the hotel industry, profession as a copywriter, while presently staying in Kuala Lumpur. Quite a heady mix for a food blogger to have it all. Over to her, as she recreates an Egyptian speciality - Kosahry.


When Anamika asked me to guest post for her, I was surprised. No one has asked me to guest post for them before and I didn't know how to go about it - how to be someone's first. Placing the excitement of my ego aside, I let my heart dish it out with my brain for a while and came to the conclusion that what I should share should be a modern take on a traditional Egyptian dish called Koshary.

If I'm to be blatantly honest, Koshary is a strange dish, combining rice, pasta, lentils, chickpeas, fried onions and a spicy tomato-garlic sauce that will leave you in dire need of a mint. A meal for the rich and the poor alike, countless shops are strewn across Egypt offering plastic boxes heaped to the brim with starchy carbs that will leave you full and happy, albeit a little stinky.

Lately, Egypt is changing, or at least it is fighting hard to try to get out of the general slum it has lethargically become over the past 30 years. Our beautiful country of old, with its glorious riches, was mostly hungry, not for food alone, but for rights – rights that most others would take for granted like the right to free and fair elections, the right to never experience police brutality and most importantly, the right to protest. With more and more of Egypt falling below the poverty line, it is understandable why Koshary rose to power, why it became the food for the masses. Filling and flavorful, it adds an element of spice to the average Egyptian's life at a lower cost than the expensive meats hanging in the butchers' shops.
Being away from my beautiful Egypt throughout the revolution really got me thinking, could we change? Was it really the government or have the people too become stagnant? Maybe our old ways aren't enough anymore and maybe we need to hold on to the old while moving on with the new, the way many other countries are finding the balance.
Trying to bring the flavors of my beautiful Cairo to the world can be a little daunting. Sometimes, it seems like what we're consuming on a day-to-day basis is such a mess and maybe it's in need of some reinvention, which is why I came up with a simpler version of koshary, one that eliminates the rice and yet retains the full flavors of this beautiful meal that Egyptians obsess over and feed to any tourist that crosses their path.

Koshari-inspired Spaghetti Recipe

By eliminating the rice in koshary, you ultimately end up with an interesting pasta dish

You'll need:

500 gm of spaghetti, cooked al dente

2 small onions, chopped

2 tablespoons of ghee

400 grams of chickpeas, cooked

150 grams of brown lentils, cooked

For the sauce:

1/3 cup of olive oil

5 heaped tablespoons of tomato paste

2 leveled tablespoons of all-purpose flour

5-7 cloves of garlic, sliced, depending on the strength

1.5 teaspoons of chili powder

3 tablespoons of vinegar

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

5-6 cups of water, depending on your preferred sauce thickness

Salt and pepper, to taste

Way to go: Begin with the sauce. Heat your oil in a pot on medium heat. Add the flour and tomato paste. Constantly whisk until all is combined into a smooth paste. Cook on low heat for a minute until it begins to sweat. Add the sliced garlic, chili and vinegar and incorporate into the roux. Add the water, stir then boil once and reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer until it has thickened and the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Mix the cooked pasta with the chickpeas and lentils and set aside. Fry the chopped onions in the ghee until they reach a deep brown color. Serve the sauce over the pasta and garnish with fried onions.

Thank you, Anamika, for allowing me to share your space for a moment and for helping me to truly consider what it would be like to become a vegetarian. I admire your self-discipline and hope that we can continue to build on our growing friendship. Here's to everyone rising up to share their voice and their culture with the rest of our beautiful world. 



Thanks Sarah for introducing us to this great dish. Hop over to her space, to discover more. And while you drool over her pics, let me be in awe of the awe inspiring beauty of Switzerland :)

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