Tuesday, June 14, 2016


I am going to Vietnam in a little over a month.  I bought my ticket months ago.  I have been planning our itinerary.  The basic plan was just agreed upon last Sunday.

My friend who I am traveling with is willing to go along with whatever I suggest, which is pretty flexible and kind of her.  We fly into Ho Chi Min, but we will be traveling to a few northern cities during our visit too.

We haven't made any travel arrangements within the country or make hotel reservations yet.  I think I need to map out what things we want to do in each city in order to know how long we need to stay in each city.  Planning a trip is lots of work, but it makes me exciting for the journey.

Koshari is an Egyptian dish that originated in the 19th century.  It is made with rice, lentils, and macaroni, which is covered with a tomato sauce.  The dish is popular with workers and laborers.  It is made in Egyptians' homes and by street vendors.  

It can be garnished with chickpeas and fried onions.  The fried onions sound like a wonderful idea.  It is Egypt's national dish, though pasta and rice are not indigenous to Egypt.   

One site suggested that the dish is originally from India.  The name come from the Hindu word khichri, which is a dish of rice and lentils.  

This recipe came from food.com.  I have never made this dish before, so I made it as directed.  

The ingredients are 1 cup brown lentils, 1 cup basmati rice, 1 cup uncooked pasta, 2 large onions, 4 minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 400g can chopped tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.

I began by cooking the lentils in a liter of salted water.  I let the lentils simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.

I fried the chopped onions in the oil for a few minutes.

I then added the garlic and sautéed the onions and garlic until the onions were golden and soft.

After simmering the lentils for 15 minutes, I added the rice.  I continued to simmer the rice and lentils until the rice was tender.  The recipe said to add water when needed, but I didn't need to add any additional water.

Once the onions were tender, I added the chopped tomatoes, red chili flakes, salt, and pepper.  I let the tomato sauce bubble for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile I boiled some water and added salt and the pasta.  I cooked the pasta for seven to nine minutes.  Once the pasta was tender, I drained it.

I added the cooked and drained pasta to the cooked rice and lentils.  I stirred until combined.

Once all the components were fully cooked and ready, I dug in.

I scooped some of the rice, lentil, and pasta mixture onto a place and then covered it with some tomato and onion sauce.

This was very comforting and filling.  

It was packed full of carbs and protein.

The sauce was flavorful and had a little heat.

This was satisfying and nourishing.  

This was a very safe and simple dish, especially given that it comes from Egypt.  Even the pickiest of eaters would have no problem gobbling this down.

It was simple yet satisfying and delicious.

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