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Lentils are cooked with spices in many ways in the Middle East; with koushari, two important staples come together in this traditional dish, served hot or cold, offering a satisfying, vegetarian option that can stand alone or accompany a succulent, spiced meat dish.
Most simply, koushari consists of brown lentils and long grain rice, generously topped with fried onions. Macaroni/pasta, chickpeas and a spiced tomato sauce layered on the rice with lentils provide interesting variations.

Because the lentils offer a substantial protein source, this dish supplies a balanced nutritional component that makes it a worthy vegetarian meal. The cinnamon and cumin infuse savory, aromatic flavor accommodating to the palette, but also serve as rich sources of iron and digestive enzymes. In essence, Egyptian koushari is a complete package providing carbohydrates, protein and vital nutrients.

Ingredients

1 ½ cups brown lentils (soaked overnight in water or two hours minimum)
2 large onions
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ½ cups long-grain rice (basmati or jasmine)
salt and ground black pepper
flat-leaf parsley and chives, to garnish

Instructions
1. Drain the soaked lentils, now softened, and place in a large pan. Add enough water to cover the lentils by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, covering the pan and allowing to simmer for 40 minutes to 1 ½ hours, depending on the lentils’ softness, or until tender. Drain thoroughly.

2. Finely chop one onion, slice the other onion. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a pan, then add the chopped onion and sauté until soft and browned. Add the lentils, salt, pepper, cumin and cinnamon. Stir to thoroughly mix.

3. Measure out the rice and add it to an equal amount of water to the lentil mixture. Bring to a slight boil, cover and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, until both the rice grains and lentils are tender. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and cook the sliced onion until very dark brown. Pour the rice mixture into a serving bowl, generously top with the fried onion and serve hot or cold, garnished with fresh flat-leaf parsley and chives to be eaten fresh with the rice and lentil dish.

Optional additions to this rice dish include pasta noodles, chickpeas cooked to a softened texture, usually requiring more simmering time than the lentils, or pre-cooked canned chickpeas. A spicy tomato sauce compares to traditional pasta sauce, and can be added to the fried onions before serving or separately.

Clearly, the versatility and flavor of this dish has served the Egyptian people well, making it one of the most time-honored ancient Egyptian dishes, but one which can be easily crafted in any kitchen.

Additional Information: Rice Cookers can be obtained from RiceCookerWorld.

One of the worst situations that could ever happen to a coffee lover in the history of the world happened to me yesterday morning: my Gevalia stainless steel 12-cup coffee maker suddenly stopped working. It just would not brew, even though I tinkered with it for a few minutes. The usual idiotic questions rolled through my head (Is it plugged in? Is it turned on? Did I put water in it?), and after a short evaluation it hit me that I was not broken, but the coffee maker was. To make matters worse, I had a sort of “Office Space” moment with the Mr. Coffee coffee maker that had faithfully lasted for years and years until it too met its untimely demise, so needless to say, I didn’t have a backup plan. Also, I live in Rural Town, U.S.A., and Starbucks or any other type of convenient coffee was a nice twenty minute drive away. Considering that Gevalia was the source of my troubles, I gave them a call. It was the second of their coffee makers that I had owned over the past two years, the first one lasting only a few months. Thanks to having a warranty, they had to replace the first one, so logically it made sense that it would happen again. I was wrong. I can talk my way into many, many things, but I could not talk those outsourced Gevalia employees to send me a new one. Apparently, they want to make sure that they lose customers, and I kindly informed the second person I spoke to of this before hanging up.

Eventually it dawned on me that there must be some other way to get my morning java fix. I stared at the stove, looked at a pot, and a light bulb appeared over my head. I took the same amount of water and coffee that I put in the coffee maker and put it in a pot on the stop-top and brought it to a boil. I then took the coffee strainer out of the coffee maker and put it in the coffee pot, strained the freshly boiled brown mess and voila! I had my coffee. It was absolutely delicious, almost making the situation balance itself out.

There are two morals of this story. The first is to never, under any circumstances, buy a Gevalia coffee maker. They belong in a junkyard. The second is to have a backup plan, because if you’re anything like me, you don’t think about this sort of stuff until it happens.

When it comes to budget ranged espresso machines, there is no math to the Philips SAECO HD8753/57. It`s the perfect blend of technology and scintillating features which make the machine a perfect product to purchase. It features a digital display, with one touch easy and lightning fast interface. Undoubtedly, this is perhaps the best budget espresso machine.

Standing by the name itself, the espresso maker produces much more than a standard espresso coffee. It comes with another integrated jug that allows to produce several varieties of drinks, which includes the café crème, cappuccino and the late macchiato. The machine also has the auto clean feature and the descaling cycle feature prolonging the life of the machine. It also includes several spare parts which can be washed under running water smoothly. The other notable feature in the model also includes, a ceramic grinder which is also capable of handling white coffee beans, a quick and easy heat boiler that ensures that you don’t wait tirelessly for you next cup of coffee. It also has the memo function that lets you save your save your personalized coffee settings and other temperature settings.

However, it has also been noted by few customers and also mentioned on amazon regarding the plastic shaker which is there in the bean hopper which often interferes with coffee beans. This leads to inconsistent strengths of coffee since not enough beans easily get inside the grinder. But this issue can easily be resolved by just removing the plastic shaker off which at the same time also ensures that grinder is getting proper delivery of the coffee beans. So summing up the features of the features of this machine below:

  • One touch cappuccino feature
  • Automatic refilling of milk function
  • Adjustable coffee strength function,
  • Automatic cleaning
  • Pre- brewing function for enhancing the flavor