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Famous Food in Egypt

Updated: Jul 24, 2021

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Egyptian cuisine shares similarities with the food of the Eastern Mediterranean region and Turkish cuisines, such as rice-stuffed vegetables, shawarma, kebab, and kofta.
Here are the most famous food in Egypt that you have to try it:


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Kushari

Kushari is a famous dish in Egypt for more than 100 years, it contains layers of rice, Lentil, spaghetti, or macaroni, topped with tomato sauce, crispy fried onion, garlic sauce, and chickpeas.

Some people thought Kushari is an Egyptian dish but it was not, 1914 in the WW1 when the Indian soldiers came with the British troops, they introduce this dish in Cairo but it was made of rice and Lentil Only, after that the Italian people who were lived in Cairo at that time they added the pasta on it.

After a while, the Egyptian people added the tomato sauce, garlic sauce, crispy fried onion, and chickpeas at the top of the dish.

Since then, the kushari has been an Egyptian mark in Egyptian cuisine.

Koshari Egyptian food


Foul Medames (Beans)

One of the most popular dishes in Egypt dates back to the ancient Egyptians.

The way of preparation varies from one place to another, it can be prepared with butter, tomato sauce, tahini, pastirma, boiled and fried eggs Always served at breakfast beside Egyptian bread.



Tameya (Falafel)

Tameya is one of the popular and fast food in Egypt.

It is made of Split Fava Beans then mixed until fairly smooth and then shaped in flat discs then fried in heat oil.

It said its origin dates back to the Levant and later moved to the Arabic kitchens, while the Jews assert that the falafel is Hebrew.

Some said the Egyptian Coptic the first people to discover this dish cause they replaced it with the meat dishes in time of fasting, then it spread from Egypt to the Levant.

While others said that "Falafel" is an ancient Egyptian food, they described that it means "a lot of beans" in the Ancient Egyptian language.

It is served as a breakfast beside Foul, fried eggplant, french fries, and Egyptian salad.


Fattah

Fatah is a popular dish in Egypt, it contains layers of pieces of fresh, toasted, grilled, or dried bread, Rice, tomato sauce with vinegar and garlic, and on top pieces of meat.

It is a popular dish especially in Eid Al Adha for Muslims and Easter for Christian in Egypt.

It named "Fattah" in the Arabic language because it means breaking the bread into small pieces and mix it with meat or chicken soup.

Some said its origin is Arabic, others said it is Ottoman and others said it is Fatimid.

Another version of the dish is made with kaware' (beef or cow trotters).



Molokhia

It is an old Egyptian dish, first, they thought this plant was poisoned But when the Hyksos conquered Egypt, they forced the Egyptians to eat it and were surprised that they found it a non-toxic and very delicious dish.

In the Era of the Caliph "Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah" he issued a decision forbidding eating Molokhia on the general public because of his love for Molokhia and making it for the princes and kings and it is the name changed to "Mulukeya".

After that, the Molokhiya was transferred to the Arab countries.

It is cooked by cutting Molokhia leaves with chicken, beef, shrimp, or rabbit soup. Coriander and garlic are added and served with Egyptian bread or white rice.

The way of cook differs from one place to another in Egypt.



Bisarah

Bisarah is a vegetarian dish rich in protein.

It was known since the Pharaonic era and made from beans. It is mixed with many herbs like parsley, dill, leek, crushed beans, onions, green peppers or green chilies, fresh green coriander.


Kishk

​The Kishk is considered to be one of the most authentic dishes in Egyptian cuisine.

Its origins from Eastern and Central Asia, Anatolia, and not Egyptian as believed, its way varies from one country to another.

But in general, it is made from wheat bran and sour milk. . Fried onions may be added to add some zing to the dish’s savory taste. It may also be cooked with chicken broth for a richer flavor.


Mahshi (Stuffed Veg)

Mahshi is stuffed vegetables like eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, onion, tomato, vine leaves, and cabbage leaves, all these veggies are stuffed with rice seasoned with tomato juice, oil, onion, parsley, dill, salt, pepper, mint, and spices.

After that, they placed in a pot and topped with chicken broth or beef broth. It is served usually with beef, lamb or chicken. Mahshi is thought to be transferred to Egypt during Ottoman rule.

Egyptians did not add the minced meat to the rice as the Turkish people do.

This dish is famous on all occasions in Egypt.



Mombar

This dish is made from sheep or cow intestines. The intestines or beef sausage is usually filled with rice mixture as in Mahshi and boiled, after that fried in hot oil to achieve that brown color.



Hamam mahshi (Stuffed Pigeon )

The grilled pigeon is one of the favorites food in Egyptian cuisine, served grilled and stuffed with rice or bulgur wheat Freekeh.



Baba ghanog

Baba ghanoush is a kind of appetizer in Egypt

Baba Ghanoug is made of grilled eggplant and then mashed and mixed with tahini, lemon juice, salt, pepper, parsley and cumin, olive oil.

It is served with Egyptian bread next to dinner, lunch, and even breakfast



Feter Meshaltet (Egyptian Pie)

One of the oldest pies in Egypt, it first made 6 thousand years ago.

The Pharos is the first people to bake it, they used to put it beside the dead in their tombs.

They used to offer that kind of pie to gods in the temples because it was made from the most expensive food at this time such as flour, ghee, and fine honey.

The meaning of " Meshaltet" in the ancient Egyptian language means "layers" This is because it is made from many layers of dough.

Nowadays there are many kinds to serve this pie, it can be baked with vegetables, sugar or Jam.



Sayadiya

It is a seafood dish cooked with rice and onion/tomato sauce and then baked in a casserole in the oven.

Alexandria, Port Said, and Suez are known for this kind of food.

It is served with yellow rice and Tahini sauce.



Fesekh

​​It is a seasonal food in Egypt you can find it only at Sham Al Naseem (Spring Festival).

The origin of this dish from the pharaohs, Fessekh is fermented mullet fish, prepared by letting the fish dry in the sun and then soaked in salty water for up to a month.

The dish is served with brown Baladi bread, olive oil, and onions.



Qulqas (Taro Soap)

Taro is famous for the preparation during the Coptic Christian celebrations (Epiphany)

It is shredded, sliced ​​, and cooked in broth with lemon juice and coriander served with Egyptian bread.



Hawawshi (meat pie)

This dish is made from minced meat, parsley, pepper, onion, and chili to ensure the savory taste of the meat. Once these ingredients are mixed, they are filled in Baladi bread or dough (Alexandria Hawawshi) and then baked.

It is served with Torshi (Egyptian pickles).




Kebabs, kofta and tarab

Kebabs are meat cubes grilled on skewers, usually made from veal or mutton.

Kofta is minced beef or lamb mixed with plenty of spices as (Salt, cumin, nutmeg, black pepper, garlic, onion, and parsley are added to the minced meat), then shaped and grilled.

Tarab is considered one of the most expensive types of grills that are sold by shops and supermarkets because they are difficult in some ways, especially because they require the existence of a sheepskin napkin.

Kebab, Kofta & Tarab are always served with bread, green salad, tahini salad, Baba Ghanouj, and Torshi (Egyptian pickles).


Shawerma

Shawarmas are made with either lamb, turkey, chicken, beef, or a mix of different meats which are slow-cooked for hours that are rotated vertically in front of a flame grill. As the meat is cooked it is sliced off and mixed on a skillet with chopped tomato, onion, and parsley before being rolled in a large disc of flatbread.

Typically, as Egyptian food, it is served with tahini and the chicken is served with tomeya (garlic sauce).


Moussaka

This Egyptian dish is the local version of moussaka. It is made of eggplant, tomato sauce, and vegetables.

First, fried sliced eggplants are placed in a flat pan with sliced onions, sliced potatoes, green peppers, and chili peppers, 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.



Macaroni Béchamel

Macaroni Béchamel is classic Egyptian comfort food.

It’s Egypt’s version of lasagna or macaroni and cheese.

It is made with penne pasta, minced meat cooked in chopped onion and tomato paste, topped with the classic béchamel sauce.

Some versions can add mozzarella cheese with the béchamel.


Rozz Me‘ammar

Rozz me'ammar is an Egyptian dish prepared with a combination of cooked white rice, milk, butter or cream, and chicken broth.

After all the ingredients have been combined in a traditional clay pot called a Bram, the mixture is baked in the oven.

Halawa

It is a common food in the whole Middle East, made from a sesame paste, and can be mixed with almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pine, or whipped cream, the main common food among Egyptians as a snack at breakfast or dinner.




Desserts


Um Ali

"Umm Ali" is one of the most delicious Egyptian sweets.

It is rich in nuts. It is made of layers of puff pastry, (can be replaced with toast or croissants), soaked in milk and mixed with nuts, raisins, coconut flakes, and sugar, and then baked.

It was named after Umm Ali, the wife of Izz al-Din Aybek, the first Mamluk sultan after the Ayyubids.



Roz Bel Laban

Rozz bel laban translates to rice with milk it’s Egypt’s version of rice pudding. If you’re a fan of rice pudding, you will love it.

Rice cooked in milk, sometimes cream (ishta), with sugar typically topped with pistachio pieces.



Qara' Asali (Egyptian Pumpkin pie)

Qara' Asali is a classic Egyptian dessert. It consists of cooked pumpkin, mixed with lots of sugar, butter, nuts, and raisins.

The dessert is then topped with béchamel. You can add on top crushed nuts.



Kunafa

It is one of the best-known desserts in Egypt, the Levant, and Turkey,

It is mixed with butter, oil, and stuffed with nuts or cream or both together and pour honey or sugar syrup on it.​

Was specially made as an anti-hunger food for "Mu'awiya ibn Abi Sufyan", the ruler of Egypt during the Umayyad state.

For a long time, it was food for the rich people only, until the Fatimids came and the kunafa became popular sweet especially in Ramadan.



Basbosa

It is a famous Egyptian sweet.

It is made from semolina flour soaked in a syrup made from honey and lemon, sometimes coconut is added to complete its magical taste.

It is usually topped with almonds and traditionally cut vertically into pieces so that each piece has a diamond shape.



Zenab fingers (Asabe' Zenab) & Balah El sham.

It is a famous dessert in Egypt and is Closely related to Ramadan.

The origin of this dessert is Egyptian, as it was associated with Baibars. After his victory over the Mongols, he ordered to give sweets to the people in the streets in Egypt as a Celebration of victory and this dessert was Asabe' Zenab. It was named Zenab related to Baibars Wife.

As for the Balah El sham, it is origin from Syrian and were transferred from the Levant to Egypt. It is made with sugar, flour, lime, and vanilla and deep-fried



Lokmet El Kadi (Golden Ball)

This type of sweets has many names, some call it Awama, dumplings, or baklava.

The name came from Baghdad where the judges in the Abbasid era worked all day and they believed that if they did not eat, it would be difficult for them to complete their work. At the same time, if they ate fatty food, it would be difficult for them to concentrate so, They wanted a kind of food to give them the energy to continue the work.

The dumplings were the solution, and they were called "Lokmet al kadi" (the judges a bit )and were considered snacks.



The Egyptian Minin

It is an Egyptian dessert stuffed with pressed dates, it serves in festivals as a dessert besides the tea or the coffee,


Qatayef

It is a popular Ramadan dessert in Egypt, It is a kind of sweets like a pie stuffed with nuts and then fried in a pan and then poured into syrup

Some people said it dates backِ to the Abbasid era, others said to the Umayyad era and others said it dates back to the Fatimid era.

The first Umayyad caliph who eats Qatayef was "Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan".



Kahk (Egyptian Cakes).

An authentic Egyptian dessert associated with celebrating Eid al-Fitr, it is a dough stuffed with nuts or (malban) Turkish delights or dates paste sprinkled with crushed sugar.

It is said that the first people who made it was the Fatimids, but in fact, it was known in Egypt since the ancient Egyptian civilization.