Thermos 3-Tier Bento #20

The version of koshari found in the Joy of Cooking and some pineapple. This is not pretty, but it is food.

I don't know what made me go to the Joy of Cooking to try to find vegan recipes. Joy is decidedly not vegan-friendly. But there were some promising things in the legumes section, and I needed to use up some lentils. Plus, the Egyptian restaurant I went to as often as I could just closed down, so I needed to find a new source for koshari, the "national dish of Egypt." Koshari is essentially stewed lentils and tomatoes over macaroni with caramelized onions, though there are a lot of variations. Mine didn't turn out super well, I think because the lentils needed a lot longer cooking time than the recipe indicated. I'm going to just accept that any lentil recipe I use needs to have a doubled cooking time.

But this was a good change of pace, and helped me use some stuff up (I'm in use-what-you've-got mode right now because one does need to eat one's stock down every once in a while). This doesn't really require any ingredients that are especially perishable--yes, onions and garlic are perishable but they don't perish as quickly as most things, and the rest of what goes in it is really pantry goods. This is true for a lot of vegan food--even if perishable, it's not that perishable. Tofu keeps in the fridge a lot longer than meat. This was a totally unexpected vegan bonus.


  1. I always soak my lentils these days (well, not red ones obviously) because I always found that they would take so much longer to cook than the recipe said. Since soaking, they cook much faster.

  2. I love the challenge of veganizing recipes that aren't typically vegan friendly and making cookbooks work for me. I'm sorry this recipe didn't quite work out, I always have issues with lentils too. They aren't my favorite to begin with but then to have a hard time getting them right makes it even less appealing.

    1. When lentils are good, they're AMAZING to me, but it's not something I feel really confident of being able to do consistently yet.

  3. That's too bad the koshari didn't work out as well as you'd hoped, but that's great that it helped you use stuff up!

  4. I have never had koshari but now i want some! Lentils depend on what kind how long they take- oh, actually if you added tomatoes before the lentils were done cooking that’s the problem. Something about the acid in tomatoes prevents lentils or beans from cooking properly no matter how long you cook them.
    Off to find a recipe to make this for myself!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts