We often go to the Miguelin y Miguel in Yunquera for menu del dia. This is a great feature of living in Andalucia – almost every restaurant offers 3 course lunch specials, usually several choices per course, for a fixed (very reasonable) price. The food served for menu del dia is almost always excellent, and incredible value.
One of my favourite first courses at ‘the Mig’ is “Arroz Cubano”. It’s rice with a rich tomato sauce on it, and served with a free range fried egg. I have tried to make this at home, but it’s never been as good as Carmen’s at the Mig.
So last night, I decided to mix it up a bit. Shock, horror, I decided to serve Ottolenghi’s kosheri (Egyptian street food recipe) in the “cubano” style (Andalucian). Note: this isn’t a rural Andalucian thing to do! When it comes to food, ‘mixing it up’ is one of the last things your average Yunquerano would do!
Oh my goodness, how fantastic it was! I was going to take a picture, but we ate it too fast. Maybe next time!
Ottolenghi’s Kosheri, modified slightly to accommodate our tastes
This will easily serve 4, but I tend to make the whole batch – it’s delicious served again as a side dish!
For the Kosheri:
6 oz green lentils, washed
4 oz Basmati rice, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces vermicelli noodles, broken into 2-inch pieces
1 ¾ cups chicken stock or water
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
For the sauce:
1 1/2 c tomato frito
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp dried chillies (moderately hot)
Place the rinsed lentils in a large saucepan, cover with lots of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked but still firm. Rinse again, drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large wok or frying pan over medium heat. Add the vermicelli and fry them, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Add the rice and stir to coat it with butter. Add the water or stock, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low, cover and simmer for 12 minutes or until ‘al dente’. Remove the lid and turn off the heat. Place a dry tea towel over the pan, then put the lid back on for 5 minutes. (this helps to make the rice nice and fluffy)
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat for 20 minutes, or until brown. Mix into the kosheri, then add the cooked lentils to the rice. Toss to combine. Serve warm (most of year) or room temperature (summer).
To serve, put a pile of kosheri in the middle of the plate. Fry an egg or 2, and put alongside the kosheri. Spoon some hot tomato sauce over both and serve.
The combination of flavours – cinnamon, chillies, cumin – is fantastic. In fact, treat yourself to an Ottolenghi cookbook, we use ours all the time!