1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
3 teaspoons expeller pressed corn oil, divided
2 medium yellow onions, 1 diced, 1 thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups tomato puree
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 cup Egyptian* or other short grain rice
½ cup ditalini or mini penne pasta
2 yellow onions, sliced thinly or cut into thin rings
1 cup canned chick peas, rinsed and drained well
Place lentils in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil on high heat and reduce heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, until tender (approximately 20 minutes). Drain and reserve lentils until needed.
Heat 1 tablespoon corn oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add diced onion and sauté until soft and golden. Add garlic and sauté until it begins to turn color. Add tomato puree, stir, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add cumin, and chili powder, stir well.
Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add vinegar and simmer, covered for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, if necessary. Remove from heat and keep covered until serving.
Fill a medium saucepan ¾ full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add Egyptian rice and reduce heat to medium. Cook until tender and drain rice. Place rice back in saucepan and cover to keep warm until serving.
Fill another medium saucepan ¾ full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Season with salt and reduce heat to a medium. Add pasta and cook until done. Drain well, place back in saucepan, and cover to keep warm until serving.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons corn oil in a large, wide, frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until dark golden brown. Take off heat and stir in chickpeas. Assemble the Koushari by spooning the rice evenly into the bottom of a large, shallow serving bowl. Scatter pasta on top of rice. Pour sauce evenly over the top of rice and pasta. Arrange onions and chickpeas in a pattern around the center of the dish. Serve hot.
Tip: Cook the lentils and make the tomato sauce one day in advance and store in the refrigerator. On the day of serving cook rice and pasta, fry onions, assemble, and serve.