I am going to start a series of blogs about the most important defining feature of any society. Religion? Economics? Familial relations? Nonsense! Food. The first item of discussion will be Koshary, because Koshary is my second favorite thing in all of Egypt.
Koshary is made of two kinds of macaroni, rice and is topped with chunky tomato sauce, fried onions and chickpeas. I don’t like chickpeas. Anyway, the classic recipe is vegan, though of course there are lots of different versions that include chicken or beef. It is always served with a small container of super-spicy sauce and a container of garlic-vinegar sauce.
You can order Koshary from lots of different Egyptian Fast Food restaurants. In fact, certain restaurants dedicate themselves entirely to the making and selling of Koshary. I’ve also heard that there are sidewalk carts that sell Koshary just like fool and talmaya, but I have yet to see this for myself.
If you ask an Egyptian what their favorite kind of Koshary is, they will almost always say, “My mother’s.” Bry’s favorite is the special version with creamy sauce filled with chicken and mushrooms. I, on the better hand, prefer the classic recipe, which I saturate in super-spicy sauce to show how manly I am, the effect of which is lessened slightly as I methodically pluck out each and every chickpea. This effect is later removed entirely when I am curled up in a ball weeping as my tongue dissolves. There’s a reason they call it super-spicy sauce! (Please note: They don’t actually call it “super-spicy sauce.” They definitely call it something Arabic, the translation of which is probably, “The really weak sauce for our little daughters.”)