Koshary is Egypt's most popular street food. The national dish, made from chickpeas, noodles, lentils, rice, and a spicy tomato sauce, has also lent Michael Landeck's restaurant its name.
Michael Landeck: "I'm a hobby Egyptian."
Michael Landeck was four years old when his parents moved to Africa from Karlsruhe, Germany. Since then, he has lived in Lebanon, Yemen, and Egypt, among other places. Egypt's capital, Cairo, became like a second home to him.
In 2011, he and his wife, received a job offer that relocated them to Berlin. Landeck admits that he sometimes misses the chaos of Cairo, but the couple now feel right at home in Germany's capital. And in Berlin, Landeck has been able to open a deli, Koshary Lux, which serves North African street food.
Koshary Lux in Berlin's Charlottenburg district
In 2015, when Landeck opened the restaurant, he didn't leave anything to chance. Everything in Koshary Lux was meticulously planned. The trained marketing expert imported all of the furniture and accessories from Egypt. It's no wonder that a visit to Koshary Lux is like a fantastic journey to another world. It's a little piece of Cairo in Berlin.
For the koshary:
For the tomato sauce:
To make tomato sauce, sauté chopped onions in a pot with hot olive oil until transparent. Finely chop garlic, add to pot, and continue to cook for a few minutes. Add tomatoes with juice, white wine vinegar, and spices, and simmer for around 20-30 minutes at medium heat until the sauce has thickened. Puree sauce and keep warm.
To make koshary, cook chickpeas which have been soaked overnight in a pot of lightly salted water for around 90 to 120 minutes.
Briefly sauté rice in sunflower seed oil, then add water and a pinch of salt. Only add enough water to cover the rice in about a finger's width of liquid. Bring rice to a boil and then simmer for around 20 minutes at low heat until cooked through.
Wash beluga lentils in cold water, then cook in a pot of boiling water for around 30 minutes until soft. Note: Do not salt the lentils, otherwise they will not soften. Slice onions into rings. Heat olive oil in a tall pan at medium heat. Once oil is hot, add onions. There must be enough oil to allow the onions to float. Add several tablespoons of sugar. A generous amount of sugar must be added, otherwise the onions will not crisp. Stir onions frequently. When onions are golden brown, use a skimmer to lift onions out of oil. Allow onions to drain on a piece of paper towel.
Cook macaroni in a pot of salted water until soft – not al dente! Drain macaroni.
Mix macaroni with basmati rice and beluga lentils. Add additional salt to taste and heat everything together in a pot. Serve macaroni-rice mixture in small bowls or soup dishes, ladle tomato sauce and chickpeas over rice and top with caramelized onions.
Restaurant Koshary Lux
Tel.: +49 30 81406190