Kushari (KOH-shary) is an Egyptian street food combining layers of pasta, lentils and chickpeas with a topping of heavily spiced tomato sauce and crispy fried onions. It’s highly craveable, satisfying and primed for the menu.
Its story stems from a need to use leftovers. Kushari is believed to have been created in the 1800s as a way for Egyptian households to create a hearty meal out of leftover cooked grains. It quickly moved into the national zeitgeist, and is popular all over Egypt.
A few elements help dial up the crave factor in kushari. First, the tomato sauce that’s ladled overtop of the grain blend brings big flavor to the dish, typically cooked with baharat, a blend of seasoning that stars aromatic, aggressive flavors like cardamom, black pepper, paprika, cloves, cumin and nutmeg. Second, the finish of crispy, crunchy fried onions adds a wonderful textural contrast.
8 Reasons to Menu Kushari
- Customize combinations of grains and legumes
- Great addition to a bowls lineup
- Significant takeout and delivery potential
- Unique textural contrasts
- Meat, seafood, vegetarian and vegan possibilities
- Economical base ingredients
- Quick assembly (after prep work)
- Innovative on commercial and non-commercial menus
Check out our kushari recipes below.