One of the questions which is often asked by people before visiting Egypt “What is the most popular food in Egypt?” or “What is the traditional food in Egypt?”. So we will try through this article to spot a light on some of the most popular and delicious Egyptian food inviting people to try when visiting Egypt hoping this may make their visit experience be completed.
The unique Egyptian cuisine has been influenced throughout history, particularly by its neighbors from the Middle East. So you will be able to taste many cultures in one plate.
Egyptian cuisine is notably conducive to vegetarian diets, as it relies heavily on vegetables and legumes rather than meat, same as it has been for millennia, mainly because veggies are much cheaper than meat. In this article we tried to involve all the information you may search about considering this topic and by this way you will not need to google anywhere else. Below is a list of the most delicious and popular dishes served up in Egypt today.
1 – Ful Medames & Ta'ameya
Ful Medames (pronounced: fool) is made of mashed fava beans that are slowly cooked all night in a giant metal jug called Qedra to be rich melted. Before being served it should including vegetables like tomato, radishes and spring onion adds more fiber, which can help reduce 'bad' cholesterol by reducing its absorption in the body. Besides you can get it cheap, it has many health benefits as it is rich in fiber and protein ... Today, Ful Medames is considered one of the country’s national dishes and the most common and popular forms of Egyptian street food, typically eaten for breakfast. Some historians have thought that Ful Medames dates all the way back to Ancient Egypt.
While Ta'ameya or Egyptian falafel is made of crushed fava beans that is later mixed and made into a paste then fried. Although it is cheap, it tastes so good. It’s like the poor people’s burger. It’s quite common in the breakfast like Ful Medames. It is best served with local bread, tomato, onions and tahini sauce.
Restaurants serving Ful Medames & Ta'ameya are spread across all over Egypt. It could be served as well on street food carts.
2 – Kushari
Kushari plate is a mix of rice, spaghetti or macaroni, and black lentils mixed together, topped with a spiced tomato sauce, and garnished with chickpeas and crispy fried onions. A sprinkling of garlic juice, or garlic vinegar, and hot sauce are optional. The plate contains a lot of ingredient, but it has a very good taste and it is cheap too, maybe the second common food in Egypt after Ful and Ta’ameya. The Egyptian streets is full of restaurants that serves Kushary, it can be eaten anytime of the day.
3 – Mulukhiyah
It is a green slimy paste that is made from jute leaves. It is prepared by removing the central spine from the leaves, and then chopping the leaves finely with garlic and coriander. The dish generally includes some sort of meat, chicken, rabbit, shrimp or even fish fillet then it will be often served beside rice or bread. Though the substance is characterized by a gluey stickiness, the taste is fresh and herbaceous!
Egyptian big cities like Cairo, Alexandria is full of oriental food restaurants that serves Mulukhiyah and it will not be expensive. Egyptian homes at least eat this dish weekly and for that reason considered one of the country’s national dishes.
Mulukhiyah has a lot of health benefits. For example it helps to regulate blood pressure, improves digestion, increases blood circulation, boost the immune system and prevent cancer. Because Mulukhiyah is rich in many essential nutrients and minerals including phosphorus, fiber, iron, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, vitamin K etc.
4 – Mahshi
Mahshi is a favorite dish of all Egyptians, big and small! It’s a very nutritious meal, when cooked with small amounts of butter or oil. It is also a delicious vegetarian meal.
The base of this meal is the stuffing made of rice, seasoned with crushed red tomatoes, onion, parsley, dill, salt, pepper and spices, then to be put inside some vegetables after being cored like green bell peppers, eggplants, zucchini, tomatoes, or grape and cabbage leaves. They're then placed in a pot and topped with chicken broth or beef broth. It is served usually with beef, lamb or chicken.
This popular dish is prevalent in most Mediterranean countries, but the Egyptian version is the best. This dish could be found in the restaurants that serve the oriental food.
5 – Moussaka
Moussaka, a Mediterranean staple, is one of the local Egyptian foods that is made at home from mixing eggplant, lemon, vinegar, tomato sauce and vegetables.
Fried sliced eggplants are placed in a flat pan with sliced onions, sliced potatoes, green peppers and chili peppers. The dish is then covered with a red sauce made of tomato paste with garlic and spices and then cooked in the oven. A layer of ground beef may be added between the eggplant slices before being cooked. The dish can be served hot but is usually chilled for a day or so to improve the taste. This one can be made for lunch or dinner.
Moussaka can be eaten in the restaurants that serve Ful Medames & Ta'ameya and you can get it cheap as well.
6 – Shish Kabab & Kofta
Shish kebab or Seekh kebab is juicy chunks of seasoned beef cooked over coals on a skewer. It is generally made of lamb but there are also versions with beef or veal. While Kofta is minced meat mixed with spices and parsley, is rolled into a finger-shape onto metal skewers before hitting the coals. Both of them are usually served with bread and an assortment of green salads and dips, mostly tahini and baba ghanoush.
When you get into the oriental food restaurant, don't forget to order the mixed plate (half a kilo of Kabab & kofta will be enough per person) and enjoy the YUMMY food!
7 – Fattah
Fattah dish is made of a layer from fried little bread pieces mixed with garlic vinegar dipping sauce, covered with a layer of rice cooked with veal broth or lamb broth, which is topped with a spiced tomato sauce. This one is eaten specifically in the Muslims feasts and even some Christian’s feasts, and it could be served as well in the ordinary days. In addition, people serve large pieces of stewed beef beside the Fattah, especially in Eid EL Adha (Religious feast for Muslims) and Easter for Christians. It is a dish that should be tasted by anyone visiting Egypt, it is tasty and fulfilling. You can get it in the restaurants which serve the oriental food all over Egypt.
8 – Hawawshi
Hawawshi is a must-try dish. Spiced minced meat and onions is filling the interior of the Arabic bread wrapping before it was baked in a wood oven. The skilled makers of Hawawshi roast the sandwich in a wood oven that crisps the bread so well, you would swear it was deep-fried from the crunchiness of the outer bread. It’s most served with pickled vegetables
Recently Hawawshi could be filled with sausage or pastrami instead of the minced meat. Most of the butchers make Hawawshi in their shops nowadays, and it is also made at homes. It is very delicious and everyone will be satisfied after eating it.
9 – Shawerma
Shawerma is not originally a native Egyptian dish; it became so due to Egypt being part of the Ottoman Empire.
Shawerma is a popular sandwich of shredded meat, where lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, veal, or mixed meat is placed on a vertical spit in restaurants, and may be grilled for as long as a day. Shavings are cut off the block of meat for serving, and the remainder of the block of meat is kept heated on the rotating spit. Shawerma can be served on a plate, or as a sandwich or wrap. Shawarma is usually eaten with tomato, sliced onions and pickled vegetables. Toppings include tahini, hummus and baba ghanoush. Shawerma became one of the world's most popular street foods. It could be found in the fast food restaurants.
10 – Baba Ghanoush
It is one of the side dishes like tahini salad, Egyptian people like it next to their dinner, lunch and even breakfast. It is made of grilled aubergine peeled and mashed then add to Tahini with addition of lemon juice, pepper, salt, parsley, cumin and olive oil. It has a good flavor and commonly served with fishes, Fattah or Shawarma, also is prefered to be eaten with fresh bread. It is delicious and give the people a good appetite to eat.
11 - Basbousa
This overly sweet cake is made from semolina flour soaked in syrup made from rose water or sometimes honey and lemon and sometimes coconut is added to complete the magic. It is usually topped with almonds and traditionally cut vertically into pieces so that each piece has a diamond shape. Basbousa is the real 7th wonder of the world.