Definitely one of the national dishes associated with the North African country of Egypt, koshary is somewhat of a staple diet for working class citizens to pop in during the lunch hour for a serious fill. It might be too heavy for those who aren’t quite used to it though, mostly because of the heaviness of the pasta.
For many people, the different types of pasta forming the base of the koshary dish pretty much make the dish, but that’s not really the case. It certainly would be a big blow for those who are gluten intolerant or have some kind of gluten sensitivity, in which case the focus on all the other ingredients which make up the dish becomes that much more important. The only bit of the koshary dish which makes it a gluten heavy dish is indeed the traditional mix of two to four different pastas, but what if you are indeed gluten intolerant and you still want to enjoy the dish?
Replace the pasta in the base with other rice varieties, maybe corn as well
In addition to the two or three pasta varieties often included in the typical koshary dish, rice is a prominent feature. This consideration is a good place to start if you want to make the dish a gluten-free one in that you can simply eliminate all the pasta and replace it with more rice, but in keeping with the spirit of the dish you’d probably want to add a variety of different rice.
The longer grain rice often enjoyed in the likes of Mauritius and likely sourced from the likes of Thailand will do, but each of these longer grain rice varieties will probably add a little bit of a different dimension to the taste of the typical koshary base. In any case, you don’t usually taste the pasta, because really the koshary dish is all about the oh so spicy tomato chili sauce.
And with that it’s perhaps pertinent to discuss the rest of the ingredients which regularly go into the making of a koshary dish. Adding corn to the rice would definitely make for a great alternative to add a bit of nutritional value, but that does alter the traditional taste quite a bit.
Koshary topping ingredients
So I should probably have added that the base is often completed by the addition of lentils, typically a mixture of black and brown lentils. Otherwise the rest of the ingredients which go into the making of Koshary include olive oil, vegetable stock, garlic cloves, cumin, bay leaf, salt (to taste of course), diced and fried onions, pepper, the tomato sauce (usually unseasoned), chili flakes, onion garnish and garbanzo beans.
Naturally you can play around with the ingredients any which way you want, but the preparation instructions remain largely the same and generally your aim would be to get that traditional koshary taste which never gets dull. This is why working class folk can enjoy this dish time and again, from Monday to Friday and then complete the cycle again when the next working week comes around again.