Koshari is an Egyptian dish with layers of flavour.  Now, to take you on a little culinary journey. My husband and I were travelling in Egypt in 2008 (pre-marriage and kids) and randomly walked into what looked like a restaurant. BUT… There was no menu.  We were just asked “small or large” – we opted for a “small” each and handed over our money.   We were ushered upstairs to a table and sat and waited for our meal to arrive.  It was Koshari (we worked out later) and it was amazing for us weary travellers – lentils, macaroni, rice, tomatoes and chick peas in a mish mash of flavour. It was sustaining and full of carbohydrates – a traveller’s best friend!  Definietly the fuel we needed on our first day in Cairo.  We then embarked on a busy schedule of amazing sites up and down the Nile river. It was definitely a meal and experience to remember!

Koshari Recipe | Egyptian Cuisine | Play with Food

Have a look at this video of us making Koshari live on Facebook (5pm 8/11/2016).

Simone prepared the tomato sauce portion of the below recipe live and attempted to recout the story of our first Koshari to my little girls, Elizabeth and Verity. We hope you can cook along with us!

Koshari Recipe | Ellie's Cooking Show | Play with Food

A hearty dinner or lunch recipe. Serving the layers in the middle of the table for kids to build their own Koshari bowl is a great way to give them choice and control. This dish has many textures and elements that would be sensory overload for a fussy child. A prepare to eat routine is highly recommended with this dish.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Egyptian
  • Macaroni or Risoni or Chopped Cooked Spaghetti
  • (We are using risoni as we have it on hand)
  • ½ cup Rice (Brown or Basmati)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • ½ cup Green Lentils (dry)
  • 1 Tin of Chick Peas (approx 400g), drained
  • 1 Tin of tomatoes
  • 1 Brown Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 crushed cloves of Garlic
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • ½ tsp Paprika
  • 40ml Lime juice
  1. Boil pasta for 10 minutes until cooked, drain and set aside (follow packet instructions).
  2. Boil green lentils for 20 minutes until tender, drain and set aside.
  3. Fry the rice briefly in some olive oil and then add 1 cup of water (or 1.5 cups for brown rice), bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to simmer so that the rice cooks via absorption method.
  4. Fry the onion until very well cooked and caramelised around the edges. Stir the garlic in with the onion. Add the mix to the tinned tomatoes in a saucepan with black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, paprika and lime juice.
  5. To serve this dish, you each construct your layers as follows: pasta, rice, lentils, chick peas, tomato sauce. Each layer is meant to get smaller in diameter as you go up giving the dish a dome-shape. For kids, the joy is making their own layers or piles of the ingredients.
  6. side dish suggestions: salad greens, fresh tomatoes, mint, chilli flakes (optional)


This week’s dish has been inspired by the #teachthemtheworld challenge by The World and Kids.  Each week Bailee takes us on a journey to a new site via the vlog.  Egypt was the country of choice this week.  I love doing this challenge as it pushes us to look for at least one new recipe each week.  It also usually brings up some great food conversations for us too.  I love that food is a vehicle for learning.  Making food interesting is part of our learning process.  I love to talk about food properties with the kids but I don’t apply pressure for them to “just take a bite” – if you want to know more about positive food talk with kids, check out this online parenting / health professional / educator resource that I recorded with Meg McClintock – Accredited Practicing Dietitian.  It comes with some awesome bonus content that will make mealtimes happy!

Positive Food Talk for Kids


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