How to Assemble Koushari

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 19,738
    Internationally recognized culinary expert Amy Riolo discusses how to assemble a sauce called Koushari.

    Amy Riolo: Hi! I am Amy Riolo. Today, I am making vegetarian lentils with rice and pasta in a spicy tomato sauce. So we have just finished cooking all of our ingredients for our vegetarian lentils, rice and pasta with spicy tomato sauce. Now what we can do is go ahead and taste our tomato sauce. We will double-check for seasonings and then we will also want to add our final ingredient. This is the secret ingredient in the Egyptian Tomato Sauce.

    Now you can see our sauce is ready because it has really, kind of, come together. Its thickened up really nicely and it starts to come away from the side as I stir it. What I am going to do is just stir this together and make sure that all of the flavors are incorporated. If people dont like cumin, as the recipe calls for cumin, you could also substitute with dry coriander, thats very, very good in this recipe.

    So now I am going to add in a tablespoon of our distilled white vinegar. The vinegar is very traditional. If you have ever eaten this dish in Egypt, thats the unique thing that makes the tomato sauce have its really good flavor. I am just going to taste it and make sure that we have enough salt and pepper. We do, that tastes very good. So I am going to let it simmer now for a few more minutes. While I do that simmering, that final simmering for this sauce, I am going to go ahead and taste my other ingredients and test them for salt.

    Now what we can do is start to assemble our dish. So I am going to take a scoop of our rice and just layer that right into the bottom of our dish. Then I am going to take some of our lentils and next I am going to add a little bit of our pasta. We will spoon some of our tomato sauce right on the top. You can see how nice and chunky the sauce is. Thats really the way you want it to be, you dont want it to be too runny, because the hot sauce that you could put on the top, if you wanted, is runny. So you want this one to be nice and thick and to really cling to all of the starch thats in this recipe from the rice. Thats what gives it a nice unique flavor.

    Then I am going to take some of our chickpeas and just scatter these right on the top. These are canned chickpeas which have been rinsed and grained, but definitely, you could also use fresh, especially if you are doing large quantities, fresh are great. Then I am going to scatter a little bit of our fried onions right on the top. For a finishing touch I'm going to drizzle a little bit of that oil that was leftover when we were making our fried onions. I just drizzle that right over the top. There you have it, our vegetarian lentils, rice and pasta with spicy tomato sauce or Kushari as we call in Egypt.