Sunday, April 5, 2009

Egyptian Kushari with Chicken Shawarma for Souper Sunday

This week's recipe for Souper Sunday comes from the latest Clean Living Magazine and is for Kushari with Chicken Shawarma. According to the web, Kushari is a stew usually made of rice, lentils, pasta noodles and chickpeas and is topped with a vinegar, a spicy tomato sauce, and is often garnished with caramelized onion. Clean Eating's version has lentils, quinoa and whole-wheat spaghetti and the vinegar is in the spicy tomato sauce. The magazine "likes them some protein", so they serve it with a spiced yogurt chicken.

Clean Living says: "This hearty lentil stew is often hawked by Egyptian vendors on the street. Usually served as a vegetarian dish, we've added chicken shawarma, (chicken marinated in yogurt and spices), to kick up the protein. But if you would rather go meat-free, just omit the shawarma and sub in vegetable stock without sabotaging the delicious savory flavor. Nutritional Bonus: Aside from filling you up, the combination of high-fiber foods, lentils, quinoa and whole-wheat pasta, have been linked to lowering the risk of coronary heart disease and diabetes, while promoting digestion."

Kushari with Chicken Shawarma
Clean Eating Magazine, May/June 2009
(Makes 6 Servings)

Ingredients: Lentil Stew and Caramelized Onions
3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup lentils, cleaned and rinsed
1/2 cup quinoa
1 oz whole-wheat spaghetti or vermicelli (about 1/2 cup), broken into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

Ingredients: Spicy Tomato Sauce
1 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups tomatoes, crushed
1/2 tsp red bell pepper, crushed (assume this is 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper)
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Lentil Stew: Heat stock and 3 cups water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until it comes to a roiling boil. Add lentils, lower heat to simmer and cover. Cook for 25 minutes, until lentils are tender but not completely soft. Mix in quinoa, let cook for about 6 minutes. Then add spaghetti, cook for another 6-8 minutes. If the mixture seems dry, add another 1/2 cup water. Cover and set aside. (Tip: To break up spaghetti, simply wrap it in a clean dish towel and holding the towel by each end, carefully run pasta over the edge of a counter or table a few times).

Caramelized Onions: While lentils are cooking, heat 1/2 tsp oil in a small saute pan over low heat. Place onion in pan and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until onion is soft and beginning to brown.

Spicy Tomato Sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Mash garlic with salt together in a small bowl to form a paste, then add to oil in saucepan and cook until soft and lightly brown, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and bell pepper, mixing occasionally until sauce reduces and thickens, about 5-10 minutes. Add vinegar, cumin, and black pepper. Continue cooking until sauce thickens again, about 10-15 minutes. Prepare chicken shawarma

To Assemble: Place 1 cup lentil stew in a bowl, pour 1/4 cup tomato sauce over top, then add 2 oz chicken shawarma and add 1 Tbsp caramelized onions. 

Chicken Shawarma
Clean Eating Magazine, May/June 2009
(Makes 6 Servings)

3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp onion powder
12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into paper-thin strips

In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients except chicken. Then add chicken. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 3 hours. Cook in non-stick pan over medium heat until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. (Time-saving Tip: To make slicing easier, freeze chicken for 20 minutes beforehand).

Nutrients per serving: (1 cup lentils, 1/4 cup tomato sauce, 1 Tbsp caramelized onions and 2 oz chicken): Calories: 310, Total Fat: 5g, Sat Fat: 5g, Carbs: 40g, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 8g, Protein: 27g, Sodium: 440mg, Cholesterol: 35mg.

Notes/Results: The kushari is excellent, hearty and filling. The earthy flavors of the lentils and quinoa are complimented by the tangy, spicy tomato sauce and the sweet onions. The chicken, (I used turkey breast cut into strips instead), is good, but not necessary to the dish and I would omit it the next time and save myself the hassle of another pan on the stove. Since tomatoes didn't look so hot this week, I used a canned crushed tomato, and I also used   some red chili pepper flakes instead of the "red bell pepper" called for in the sauce recipe.(As I assume that must be what they meant). This is a good, healthy meal and I would make the kushari, probably without the chicken, again.

It looks like we have more delicious soups waiting in The Souper Sunday Kitchen.

Lissaloo from One Step at a Time is back with a family favorite soup she has been making since she was 12; McFarland's Potato Soup. Lissaloo likes how easy this creamy, hearty soup is to make. Some potatoes, milk, ham, cheese and lots of other goodies, along with her trusty immersion blender to blend it all together, and she is all set. 

Even though the weather is getting warmer, Reeni from Cinnamon, Spice & Everything Nice is still having soup cravings, which led to her making a big pot of Chicken Tortilla Soup this week. "Spicy, hearty and so very comforting", Reeni liked the different textures and flavors of this soup. 

Christine from Kit's Chow, has an extra spicy Korean soup to share, Soft Tofu Soup/Stew with Enoki Mushrooms (Soon-doo-boo dji-gae). She says this vegetarian soup full of chilies is "hot on hot!" For Christine, this soup is "the equivalent of getting a big whiff of wasabi when eating sushi. It will clear your sinuses, rev up your metabolism and the garlic will boost your immune system."

A freezer clean out. led to mass quantities of chicken that needed using up for Kait at Pots and Plots. What better to do with it than make Tortilla Soup?!  Kait and her husband had never tried tortilla soup and enjoyed it as a delicious, lighter alternative to their usual taco soup. (She does promise there is soup under all those yummy homemade tortilla strips!)

A new face at Souper Sunday this week is Singing Horse from The Peaceable Kingdom, a blog "mostly about vegan food, books, art, nature, photography and movies". Extra polenta on hand, odds and ends in the fridge and a challenge to herself to "make polenta the star of the show", led Singing Horse to make this zesty Polenta Minestrone. It looks delicious!

Winter still has a hold on her neck of the woods, so Natashya from Living in the Kitchen with Puppies, needed something comforting to combat the chilly weather. She found it in this gorgeous Mushroom Soup from Nigel Slater. Rich, creamy and served with homemade bread, she had the perfect meal.

Ulrike from Küchenlatein is feeling the change of seasons and even enjoying some moments of "tee-shirt weather."  To celebrate, she made a springlike, Kohlrabi Parsley Soup. Creamy, herbal and lemony, and served with some thick-sliced wheat bread, Ulrike says this is "a really tasty soup."

Another week of gorgeous bowls of soupy goodness! Thanks to everyone who participated. Go check out their wonderful blogs for the recipes and more details. If you want to share a soup or soup-like dish on Souper Sunday, just click on the logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Have a great week!


  1. Your soup looks amazing! There are so many delicious elements to it. A great round-up!

  2. Chock full of deliciousness!
    I am liking the bowls too, so pretty.

  3. I tasted some lentil soup at the dining hall the other day (they give free soup samples to try to entice us so I try to taste it every day even though I never buy anything) and remembered how much I like those little legumes. Thanks for sharing the soup!

  4. What a great line-up of soups! Yum :)

  5. I am so impressed with your Kushari! Wow, what a neat dish, again something I've never heard of. I'm going to have to bookmark this one, it sounds so delicious, all those textures and flavors, yum! All of the other sounds look yummy too, great round-up for Souper Sunday :)

  6. I made the Kushari, too, and it was delicious. I think the crushed red bell pepper must be an error. What would 1/2 tsp. accomplish, but that would be a lot of crushed red pepper, so I'm not sure what the original intent was. Be forewarned, though, that this dish takes considerable time and dishes to accomplish. I marinated the chicken the night before, and IMO, it was worth it. I will definitely make the chicken again!

  7. I made this from the magazine today and it was delish. Yes, I do believe it was supposed to be crushed red pepper hence "Spicy Tomato Sauce".


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