Aspiring to promote tourism and set a new culinary world record, a host of Egyptian restaurateurs are preparing to create the world’s largest plate of koshary, one of the country’s most popular national dishes.
The restaurateurs have invited a panel of judges from the Guinness Book of World Records to Egypt on November 22 to witness the creation of this record-breaking koshary dish.
According to the website of the Koshary and Egyptian Food Festival, the dish will be 10 meters wide, 1.2 meters high, and is estimated to weigh eight tons.
Privately owned Al-Shorouk newspaper reports that 100 local restaurants will be involved in the preparation of this gargantuan platter.
Organizers are also reported to be planning an Egyptian cooking festival on November 22, during which local chefs will be invited to promote their restaurants to visitors and tourists.
In an interview with state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper, organizers Amr Ashraf said, “We hope this koshary festival will be the largest one Egypt has ever witnessed.”
Koshary is a mixture of cooked pasta, rice, spaghetti, vermicelli noodles, lentils, and chickpeas — garnished with fried onions, tomato salsa, hot sauce, garlic sauce and other toppings.
The origins of the dish are debatable. Many claim it is one of the few authentic Egyptian dishes originating locally in the 19th Century. However, some culinary historians point to the origins of koshary in Indian cuisine.
Al-Shorouk reports that the first mention of koshary in Egypt dates back to the late 14th Century, when Moroccan historian and world traveler Ibn Battuta described its contents and mentioned that “K-sh-r” (which he allegedly spelled as such) was widely consumed in Egypt. Al-Shorouk and other sources argue that the word koshary originates from the Sanskrit language in India.