Here is a weeknight-friendly version of this classic vegetarian Egyptian street food.


Makes 8 servings

1 1/2 cups basmati rice

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon each: cayenne pepper, ground dry ginger

28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

12 ounces elbow or ditalini pasta

15-ounce can chickpeas, drained

Half of a 15-ounce can brown lentils, drained

Salt and ground black pepper

Cider vinegar

1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the rice, cover, reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 20 minutes; fluff, cover and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add the garlic, cumin, cayenne, and ginger, heat for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes; bring to a simmer. While tomatoes simmer, heat the remaining oil in a saute pan over medium-high. Add the onion, saute until starting to brown. Add the pasta and saute until the pasta begins to brown, 5 to 6 minutes.

3. Stir the chickpeas, lentils, and 4 cups of water into the pasta mixture and simmer. Cook until the water is absorbed and the pasta is tender. Add additional water 1/2 cup at a time until the pasta is cooked, if needed. Add a splash of vinegar to the tomato mixture. To serve, spoon out some rice on each plate, then the pasta mixture, then tomato sauce over that.

Per serving: 440 calories; 5 g fat (0.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 87 g carbohydrate; 13 g protein; 8 g fiber; 490 mg sodium.