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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Koshary at Abou Tarek

Yesterday we made our annual trip downtown to the Mogamma to extend our visas for the rest of our stay. This is normally an all day event so we decided to have lunch at Abou Tarek. This is a very famous Koshary restaurant not too far from the center of downtown, but somehow, I have never been there.

Follow this tree-lined street away from the main downtown square and you will soon arrive at the corner where Abou Tarek is located. I soon realized why I had never seen it before. I have always referred to this street as "ball-bearing street." I've been too fascinated by the auto machine shops and ball-bearing stores to ever notice a restaurant.
AbuTarek-5 AbuTarek-4

We were accompanied by a friend who took us up to the second floor where we ordered. Here Linda has topped the pasta and lentil mixture with tomato sauce from the cup and is adding just the right amount of hot sauce from that pitcher to her "small" sized serving. A sprinkling of fried onions will then go on top. Another container holds a mixture of vinegar and garlic to add flavor too. Our friend reminded me to shake that one thoroughly first to stir up the garlic chunks.

Abou Tarek is found in all the guidebooks. Their website lists quite a few references. Here is a CNN reporter filing an on-the-scene report on her lunch.

They are even willing to share the details of their recipe:
Koshary Details

AbouTarek Team wishes happiness for all of you … because there are many ways to make Koshary dish …Here Aboutarek Team will introduce the best way to make it and the ingredients of the most delicious one…

Egyptian Koshary Pasta

We wish you are ready and have the following:


2 cups cooked rice
2 cups cooked penne pasta
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin , divided
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 cup cooked lentils
1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
3 medium yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
2 medium onions, thinly sliced (about 2 cups), optional*

Now AbouTarek Team wish you do the next steps :


1. Combine rice and pasta; spoon in bottom of shallow serving platter. Keep warm

2. Whisk together vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Add cooked lentils and stir to combine. Spoon over rice and pasta.

3. Combine tomatoes, water, sugar, cinnamon, salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon cumin and red pepper in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Stir in squash. Spoon tomato mixure over lentil layer. Partially stir tomato mixture into other layers, but do not completely combine all layers. If desired, prepare crisp-brown onions as directed below and add as a topping.

*Cook onions in large skillet with 1 tablespoon oil over high heat, stirring frequently, until brown and slightly crispy, about 10 minutes.

Aboutarek team is keening to make all information are available for you to enjoy good health so …you have to know Nutritional Information:

Nutritional Information
Calories: 169, Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 281 mg, Carbohydrates: 34 g, Protein: 7 g

Well, there you have it. Two cups of rice, two cups of pasta and one cup of lentils, but only 169 calories. Wish we could do that at home! It really is delicious.

I noticed that this sharing of the details can cause problems. As we left, I saw that there are a number of signs on the outside of the restaurant. Don't be taken in by cheap imitations! There is only one Abou Tarek.

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