Koshary: How Did A Version Of Our Khichri Become Egypt’s National Dish?
From Khichri to Koshary.
Khichri is a popular South Asian dish made up of rice and lentils (دال). The healthy and nutritious dish is considered a staple and comfort food in various regions of the subcontinent.
Who would have thought that this dish would travel all the way from the subcontinent to the Middle East, undergo a process of alteration, and then become a national dish of the most populous Arab country?
Well, this is what happened when Khichri became Koshary in Egypt.
Koshary is one of the most beloved dishes of Egypt. It is found in every corner of Egypt and is loved by locals and foreigners alike.
For Egyptians, Koshary is to Egyptian cuisine as the pyramids are to its culture.
History of Koshary كشري
In the 19th century, most of the subcontinent was colonized by the British.
Through years of colonization, the British had adopted several things from the Indian culture.
One of the things that the British had adopted from the subcontinent was Khichri.
Khichri had become a common dish among the British troops stationed in the subcontinent. The British would, later on, modify Khichri and invent a new dish named Kedgeree.
So, in 1882, the British moved on to colonize Egypt and brought Khichri with them. The dish soon became popular among the locals.
Meanwhile, the British were not the only Europeans present in Egypt at that time. There was a large number of Italians present in Egypt as well.
The Italians had begun to love Khichri as well and added one more thing into the dish: pasta.
So, now we have Khichri infused with Italian pasta.
The local Egyptians further modified the dish and added fried onions, ‘daqqa’ (garlic and vinegar sauce), tomato sauce, and spicy sauce.
Voila! Koshary came into existence and soon became so popular that it is regarded by many as the national dish of Egypt.
The fascinating dish of Koshary tastes delicious, satisfying, heavenly, and scrumptious.
If you ever get a chance to try the national dish of the Arab Republic of Egypt, know that the exotic dish has its humble origins in our very own beloved Khichri.
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