Although seldom named among the great food cultures of the Mediterranean or Middle East, the flavors found along the Nile are just as tasty -- and often more intriguing -- than the traditional cooking of Lebanon, Turkey or Greece. Consider the fact that Egypt's culinary traditions stretch back more than 5,000 years, to the time of the pharaohs. The Egyptian Cuisine depends heavily on legumes and vegetables. The Nile and delta region see high yields of these foods, so you'll find them incorporated into most dishes in Egypt. Archaeological excavations have even proven that the workers on the Great Pyramids of Giza were paid in beer, bread, and onions. When traveling through Egypt, you'll find that many of the foods are similar to those found in other Middle Eastern countries and along the Mediterranean. If you're planning an Egyptian vacation, here are some of the not-to-miss foods in Egypt. So, this gives us a great excuse to travel to Egypt! The only way to experience authentic Egyptian cuisine is to try it in its birthplace. Let us share nine mouth-watering Egyptian delicacies that you must try while you explore the most amazing country in the world.
2- Ful Medames
6- Hamam Mahshi
9- Fiteer Baladi
A favorite dishes in Nubia, fattah is often served during special family occasions as well as both Muslim and Christian holidays but can now be found on restaurant menus throughout Upper Egypt. Rice, beef, eggs and fried bread are the main ingredients of this stew-like dish.
If ancient Egyptians and modern Egyptians have anything in common, its Ful Medames. Ful Medames is a recipe so old and simple that it’s occupied Egyptian tables for millenniums. Safe to say this is another national favourite. The dish uses entirely meat free ingredients, including Fava beans, olive oil and cumin and a garnish of lemon juice, onion, parsley and cumin.
A go-to street food, koshary (also kushari or koshari) is regularly deemed the national dish of Egypt. This hearty hodge-podge of lentils, chickpeas, rice, macaroni, tomato sauce and fried onions sates even the most voracious appetites. While the roots of this recipe are fuzzy, it’s possible that koshary is derived from mujadarra (it’s a similar dish but does not contain pasta). Though koshary is frequently seen on tables in Arab homes around the world, it’s been a favored street food in Cairo for decades.
Taamiya is breakfast food from heaven. It is the Egyptian version of falafel, but it actually isn’t technically falafel, because it is made from a different bean.
Shawarma is a classic dish found across the middle east and originates from the Ottoman Empire. It consists of either chicken, lamb or mutton cut into thin slices and stacked onto a revolving skewer. Shavings of the meat is taken before being enveloped into a pita.
Despite its American reputation as a rat with wings, pigeon, or hamam, is considered a North African delicacy. Grilled to perfection and stuffed with cracked wheat, hamam mahshi is a favorite amongst the locals.
Mahshi translates directly to “stuffed”, but most commonly refers to stuffed grape vine leaves (called warak enab in Arabic). This popular dish is prevalent in most Mediterranean countries, but I’m biased, so I say the Egyptian version is the best. Small bites of spiced rice are wrapped tightly in grape leaves, then cooked in a tomato-based sauce and served with lemon.
Samak is the Egyptian word for "fish." Given the fact the country is wedged between the Mediterranean and Red seas, you find seafood prepared all sorts of different ways in Egypt's many coastal towns. Among the more popular restaurant fishes is denise (sea bream).
Also known as Egyptian pizza, fiteer is buttery and full of artery-clogging goodness. (Egypt is famous for heavy food, in case you haven’t realized). Fiteer is made of layers upon layers of filo dough and cooked in a giant brick oven. The original is served plain, but it can also be ordered sweet (with honey, syrup, and/or powdered sugar), or savory (with meat, vegetables, and/or cheese).
Hawawshi is ground beef, chopped up with all sorts of spices and sometimes peppers and onions, and then stuffed into pita bread and pushed onto a skillet with a hot iron weighing it down. The meat has such a high fat content that the bread comes out looking like the outside of a perfect grilled cheese sandwich, with the inside filled with tender, delicious meat.