Koshary (pasta, rice and legumes pie)

Fifi Makhmer, 62 years old -€“ Cairo, Egypt

Koshary (pasta, rice and legumes pie)  from the Delicatessen with Love project by Gabriele Galimberti – as prepared by Fifi Makhmer, 62 years old fromCairo Egypt.

Koshary is a popular street food in Egypt. Fifi Makhmer provides a more refined version for home.


More about Koshary.


some spaghetti
2 cups white rice, uncooked
1 pkg elbow macaroni
1 cup chickpeas, uncooked (or one can)
1 cup black lentils
1 onion
olive oil
tomato sauce (simmer one can of tomatoes with plenty of garlic, some water and a little white vinegar)

Spices that can be added according to taste: salt, pepper, cardamon, cumin, coriander, cinnamon)


1. Break up spaghetti in 2cm-long bits.
2. In a pot, boil rice, macaroni and the bits of spaghetti. Let everything cook until the rice is ready (at that point the pasta should be very soft and€“ overcooked for the Italian style but that’€™s what you need for this recipe!)
3. Prepare chickpeas and lentils if using dried (in two separate small pots) until they are soft enough (chickpeas can be soaked overnight for faster cooking)
4. While they are cooking, thinly slice the onion and fry it in hot olive oil until it becomes browned and crispy. Drain it from the oil and keep it on a side to use it as a decoration for our dish at the end.
5. When pasta and rice are ready as well as the lentils and chickpeas, place everything together in a pan and mix, adding spices to your liking. Leave some chickpeas on a side for the final decoration.
6. Now place the mixture into a ring-shaped pudding mould (it’€™s up to you if you prefer to use just one big mould or small ones for individual portions), pressing it well inside to make it compact. Then overturn it on a dish and take the mould away: what you get is a sort of pasta, rice and legumes pie.
7. Garnish the pie with some chickpeas in the central hole and stripes of tomato sauce on the sides. Spread the crispy onion bits on top of the dish.
8. Your dish is ready to be enjoyed.