Kushari, also koshari (Egyptian Arabic: كشري, [ˈkoʃæɾi]), is an Egyptian dish originally made in the 19th century, made of rice, macaroni, and lentils mixed together, topped with a spiced tomato sauce and garlic vinegar and garnished with chickpeas and crispy fried onions. Sprinklings of garlic juice, garlic vinegar and hot sauce are optional.
Kushari originated in the mid-19th century, during a time when Egypt was a multicultural country in the middle of an economic boom. It was invented as a vegetarian food, and it consists of fried onions, lentils, rice, macaroni and lemon sauce. It's somehow related to Italian cuisine and to an Indian dish made only from rice and lentils, khichdi, but the Egyptian dish has more ingredients and flavors, especially the local Egyptian sauce giving it its unique taste the dish is popular with. Some believe it was first made during the British occupation of Egypt. Over time, the dish has evolved through Egyptian soldiers, then Egyptian citizens. Kushari used to be sold on food carts in its early years, and was introduced to restaurants later.
This dish is widely popular among workers and labourers, and the dish is well-suited to mass catering events such as conferences. It may be prepared at home, and is also served at roadside stalls and restaurants all over Egypt; some restaurants specialize in kushari to the exclusion of other dishes, while others feature it as one item among many. As traditionally prepared kushari does not contain any animal products so it can be considered vegan, as long as all frying uses vegetable oil.
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