|Population||100,075,480 (13th largest)|
|Land mass||1,010,408 km2 (29th largest)|
|Religions||Islam (state religion)|
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Egypt is a transcontinental country, spanning both north-east Africa and south-west Asia via the land bridge of the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt has one of the longest histories of any country, with Ancient Egypt being the centre of civilisation from as early as 3150–2686 BC! Modern Egypt dates back to 1922, when it gained independence from the rule of the British Empire. It is now a semi-presidential Republic and does suffer from unrest. Large proportions of Egypt’s land area is uninhabited as it is constituted by the Sahara dessert. Most Egyptians live on the banks of the famous River Nile, where the arable land is found.
Egyptian cuisine is influenced by contemporary Arabic and Middle-Eastern culture and is especially suitable for the Vegetarian and Vegan diets (woohoo). We made Koshari…!
Koshari is the national dish of Egypt and is served literally everywhere! It is a particular favourite street food dish and the vendors who make it are called the ‘Koshari Man’! The Koshari was genuinely delicious and fun to eat, as they were so many different components. It was also lovely for left-overs the next day. The dish was easy to cook, although it does require a bit of pan / hob juggling. Fully recommend giving it a go – you will surprise yourself!
- 1 large onion, sliced into thin rings
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup oil
- sprinkle of salt
- 1 onion, grated
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 400g passata
- Salt + pepper
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- oil for frying
Koshari – lentils, rice, macaroni
- 1 ½ cup / tin brown lentils, well-rinsed
- 1 ½ cup medium-grain rice, well-rinsed
- ½ tsp salt + pepper
- ½ tsp coriander
- 2 cups macaroni
- 1 tin chickpeas
- 1tsp cumin
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 small tomatoes, chopped
- Olive oil
- First make the crispy onions by heating 1 tbsp of oil in a saucepan. Toss the chopped onion in the flour & salt to coat them. Then fry the onions on medium-high until they are brown and crispy. Set aside and keep the oil for later…
- To make the tomato sauce, fry the onions on a medium-high heat, until soft. Then add-in the garlic and coriander and saute (45 seconds).
- Stir in passata and the pinch of salt. Bring up to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens (10 minutes). Then stir in the white wine vinegar, and turn off the heat. Keep the sauce warm until you are ready to eat.
- Now its time to make the Koshari components. First cook the lentils as according to the cooking instructions of the type you are using. Make sure to not over-do them as the lentils should retain a bit of bite.
- Heat some more oil in a frying pan and fry the onion for 3 minutes. Fry it for a further one minute after adding in the cumin. Then add in the chopped tomatoes and lower the heat. Make a quick sauce-type mixture and then stir in the cooked lentils. Keep warm until serving.
- Now cook the rice in whatever way you would like! Once you have drained the cooked rice, pour in the left-over crispy onion oil and mix in.
- Finally cook the macaroni according to the packet instructions. Once drained, mix-in a bit of salt and oil.
- To assemble the KOSHARI, fluff the rice and lentils up first. There are so many ways to present the Koshari but we went for the ‘flag’ variation by using square blocks of macaroni + lentils + rice + chickpeas + onions and then using the tomato sauce to create a pattern. Get arty!
شكرا (shukran) and see you in El Salvador! M + B x