For the Crispy Onion Topping:
2 large onions, minced
1 cup cooking oil
Make the crispy onion topping – in a large skillet, heat the cooking oil over medium-high heat. Cook the minced onion, stirring often, until they turn a nice caramelized brown. Add a generous amount of salt to help the onions crisp. Onions must be crispy, but not burned (15-20 minutes).
For Tomato Sauce:
1 small onion, grated
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground coriander
½ -1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 28-oz can tomato sauce
Salt and pepper
1-2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
Make the tomato sauce – in a saucepan, heat 1 tbsp cooking oil. Add the grated onion, cook on medium-high until the onion turns a translucent gold (do not brown). Now add the garlic, coriander, and red pepper flakes, if using, and saute briefly until fragrant (30-45 seconds more).
Stir in tomato sauce and pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens (15 minutes or so).
Stir in the distilled white vinegar, and turn the heat to low. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
1 ½ cup brown lentils, picked over and well rinsed
1 ½ cup medium-grain rice, rinsed, soaked in water for 15 minutes, drained
½ tsp each salt and pepper
½ tsp coriander
2 cups elbow pasta
1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Make the Koshari – Bring lentils and 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot or saucepan over high heat. Add 1 tsp of cumin and 1 tsp of garlic powder. Reduce the heat to low and cook until lentils are just tender (15-17 minutes). Drain from water and season with a little salt.
Cook the rice in the saucepan over medium-high heat with 1 tbsp cooking oil, salt, pepper, and coriander. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Bring to a boil, then cover and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Cook the pasta al dente. Drain.
Warm the canned chickpeas on the stove and add 1 tsp each of cumin, coriander, and garlic powder. Add salt to taste.
To serve, fluff the rice and lentils with a fork and transfer to a serving platter. Top with the elbow pasta and ½ of the tomato sauce, then the chickpeas, and finally ½ of the crispy onions for garnish.