The Arab Republic of Egypt attracts tourists with centuries-old attractions and culinary traditions. Egyptian cuisine is one of the oldest and dates back to the reign of the pharaohs. It has absorbed the culture of different peoples and consists of a large number of meat, fish dishes, vegetable salads, fruit desserts, and drinks.
National dishes of Egypt are exotic and original.
General characteristics of the national Egyptian cuisine
The Egyptian population has been engaged in farming and growing grain crops for 5 thousand years. They were the first to learn how to make yeast dough, bake bread, tortillas, and cook noodles. From unbaked tortillas and malt, a dark, thick beer drink is brewed.
When making aromatic buns and sweets, honey, nuts and fruits are used.
Traditional dishes are prepared from fish, poultry, lamb and goat meat on holidays. Beans, peas, cucumbers, tomatoes and other vegetables are used as a side dish.
Dried fish and meat are eaten, since the climate in Egypt is hot.
For meat and fish dishes, all kinds of spices, dill, parsley, basil, leeks and garlic are used, which are considered the key to a healthy lifestyle.
A distinctive feature of Egyptian culture is a wide variety of meat and fish dishes, which are carefully fried and flavored with an abundance of island and pickled vegetables.
From bakery products, traditional spherical cakes are common. They are eaten fresh and warm, along with salads before main meals.
In the Egyptian Republic, many sweets are consumed, such as bassbusa, a semolina cake with honey and hazelnuts. Sweet pastries are distinguished by an abundance of fruits, nuts, and spices. For baking, use coarse flour or semolina.
Fresh vegetables and fruits are eaten in large quantities.
The history of development
The national cuisine of Egypt has developed in ancient times and has a thousand-year tradition. Already in ancient Egypt, yeast was used to make bread, pancakes, pancakes and beer. According to legend, the gods descended from heaven and taught people to cook bread, food, wine.
The modern gastronomic tradition consists of a variety of world dishes. But there are also purely Egyptian delights that are a national treasure.
In Egypt, all kinds of hot and spicy spices are used in large quantities in the preparation of dishes.
The traditional cuisine is hearty, healthy, aromatic and tasty.
A distinctive feature of Egyptian dishes is that overcooking is prepared in ghee.
In Egypt, 2 types of cuisine are used: Arabic and Italian-French. The first is in demand among the common population, the second – among the wealthy segment of society.
One of the features of Arab cuisine is the ban on eating pork and spirits, which is associated with the Muslim religion.
The national cuisine consists of various salads, appetizers, first and second courses, sweets, desserts and drinks.
It has evolved over the millennia and has its own flavor.
Salads and snacks
It is customary in the Republic to start eating with salads or snacks. They are hearty and tasty, for example:
- bazengan – a spicy eggplant appetizer with garlic, vegetable oil, sweet pepper;
- baba ganush – a grated eggplant appetizer with lemon juice and herbs;
- hummus – an appetizer salad made from chickpeas, chopped garlic, olive oil, lemon, sesame paste, hot pepper, which is served with meat dishes;
- tahina – a paste of sesame seeds, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic and parsley, which is combined with chicken and poultry dishes;
- Cairo salad consists of feta (white cheese based on sheep’s milk), cucumber, mint, cumin, various peppers and lemon juice;
- dukka – nut-herb paste;
- fresh fruit and vegetable snacks.
Grated eggplant for a snack.
First courses are used as main courses. They are distinguished by their aromatic and taste qualities, and the way they are prepared.
- rosette made from rice with seasoning;
- chorbu – lentil soup;
- kra-chobu – Bedouin soup;
- fuya medomes – made from beans and barley;
- tomato – tomato broth with sour cream, butter and onions;
- el mlokhes – thick soup cooked in goose broth with rice;
- molokhey – chicken broth with vegetables;
- kushari – includes pasta, tomato paste, rice;
- hudar bi l mawasir – vegetable broth with the addition of minced bones without meat;
- ful nabet – a soup made from sprouted legumes or lentils with the addition of corn oil, grains of mysticism, onions, lemon juice;
- cover – beef leg broth with onion, bay leaf and cardamom;
- ads asfar – a decoction of lentils with potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, seasoned with onions fried in ghee.
Egyptian cuisine is rich in delicious meat and fish dishes. Seafood is used for food: squid, oysters, crabs, seaweed.
Plov is popular with local people and tourists. It is being prepared differently than in the Russian Federation. Chicken liver or mushrooms are put in it.
Kuftu – lamb cutlets with spices can be seen in several versions – from simple ones, similar to ours, to exotic ones, which are made from minced meat with the addition of boiled rice, herbs and eggs.
On holidays, a whole lamb is traditionally roasted on a skewer, or a kebab is prepared – grilled kebabs from marinated lamb meat.
Lightly smoked pastroma (beef) with aromatic spices melts in your mouth. This dish is superior in taste.
Traditional Egyptian shawarma is much tastier than Russian. Shakshuka is a dish that is prepared for breakfast. This is a delicate omelet with pieces of meat, tomatoes, onions and herbs.
Sweet potato is popular with street vendors and is a baked sweet potato yam. It is consumed without salt and spices.
Makhshi is a baked pigeon stuffed with spiced rice. Fatta is made from beef and rice, with herbs and spices. Fahda dani bi l batates is a baked lamb ham with potatoes. Dema bi llyahma – fried beef with tomato sauce ..
Butt mehamar – well-done goose with cardamom. Uarak ainab – minced meat with rice, wrapped in grape leaves. Ruz bi fwake el bakhr – rice with fish, squid or shrimp, with the addition of walnuts and peanuts.
Dema bi llyahma and stuffed pigeons as main courses.
There are many dessert dishes.
- Balah el-sham, which is small sticks of dough that are fried in oil and poured over with caramel.
- Gullesh (goulash) – baklava made from thin dough with custard cream, a mixture of nuts, syrup, jam and honey. The top of the pie is sprinkled with raisins.
- Meshabek – butter-fried pretzels in the form of a yeast dough with cinnamon.
- Mahalabija (Muhalabiya) – milk-rice pudding, with butter and nuts.
- Basbusa is a religious and lean delicacy, reminiscent of a sweet manna, with the addition of yogurt and butter, soaked in caramel and sprinkled with nuts, fruits, and almonds.
- Fatir mishaltet – an ancient Egyptian pastry made of puff pastry with a filling, is a symbol of hospitality among the population.
- Kataef – dough pancakes filled with cheese, nuts, fruits.
- Higazeya with honey, sesame seeds, nuts, cinnamon;
- Candied nuts, fruits.
- Egyptian halva is made from sesame seeds, pistachios, almonds, pine nuts.
- Turkish delight.
- Om Ali in translation “Mother Ali” is the main Egyptian dessert made from a mixture of bread, sugar, milk, vanilla, coconut, raisins, honey and nuts. Top of the dessert is poured with cream.
Traditionally, national spherical flatbreads baked in an earthen oven are used as bread. They have a sweeter taste and are baked with whole grain flour.
Aish Baladi’s lavash is also popular. Any filling is put on it. Fytyr refers to sweet baked goods, which consists of a multi-layered dough with cream.
Fytyr is a sweet puff pastry with cream.
Traditionally, the cuisine includes a large number of drinks, including juices, cocktails, all kinds of wines, and beer.
Popular are lemonade (water mixed with sugar and lemon juice), tea, freshly ground coffee with the addition of cardamom.
Fahafkhina is a drink made from mango juice, ice cream, fruit and nut mixture. Consumed as a cocktail through a straw. Karkade is a tea made from hibiscus flowers. Shai bi l nana – mint tea is also popular. Bedouins brew it with lemongrass.
Sahleb is similar to a liquid custard with berries, nuts, and finely chopped fruits. Khushaf is a fragrant and delicious cocktail made from milk and dates.
Juice from asyr asab cane is widely used. Egyptian wines and beer differ from European ones in their rich aroma and taste.
Must-haves to try in Egypt
The national cuisine consists of culinary delights. Egyptian food is hearty and wholesome.
Koshari is a national dish made of rice, pasta, lentils and seasoned with a spicy tomato and vinegar sauce. The added roasted peas and onions give an unforgettable taste and aroma. Koshari is served hot or cold as a side dish.
The sweater also refers to ancient Egyptian cooking. Looks like cutlets, chopped sausages or small meatballs. Cooking uses lamb, chicken or beef. According to the classic recipe, minced meat is taken with the addition of onions, herbs, pepper, all kinds of spices, which is grilled.
The national catch is the kibbeh. These are bulgur cutlets with minced meat, spices and onions. The meat is placed inside the cereal shell. The cutlets are large. Traditionally, lamb, goat or beef is used for kibbeh. They eat meat with stewed vegetables and boiled rice grits.
Mulukia is a green soup made from jute leaves, mashed with garlic and seasoned with aromatic spices. The broth in different parts of the country is prepared from chicken, ram, rabbit, in Alexandria – from fish. Soup is used with rice or national flatbreads.
Nutritious legume porridge is used as breakfast.
When cooking are used:
- boiled and mashed beans;
- lemon juice;
- olive oil;
- tomato paste;
Full medames is consumed with traditional Egyptian bread, various vegetables or eggs.
A truly divine crunchy treat, a traditional favorite. It is prepared from thin strands of dough, similar to bird’s nests. The filling can be anything.
Dessert with curd filling is eaten hot, immediately after preparation. Kunafa using custard is creamy, tender, aromatic.
The cheese-making tradition dates back to the time of the reign of the pharaohs.
Cheese is one of the country’s most popular delicacies. There are 2 known of its most popular types: gibna rumi and gibna domiati.
The first cheese, which in the common people is called “Ras”, belongs to the hard-grade, matured, has a bright yellow color and a specific pungent odor.
The second is soft, layered, curd, made from buffalo milk, fragrant, pleasant to the taste, similar to feta cheese. It is added to vegetable salads, used to bake thin sambusac cakes. The cheeses have a salty taste.
Egyptian phatta is a popular, healthy and festive dish. Thin, slightly dried flat cakes are laid out on the dish. Next – boiled rice and coarsely chopped fried pieces of lamb. Top with a special sauce for meat dishes.
Baba ghanoush eggplant salad is popular in Egypt. They are baked, pounded to a puree-like consistency, mixed with tahini paste, lemon juice, seasonings. The dish is used as a side dish and is consumed with tortillas.
Hawavshi is considered a delicacy. It is prepared in the form of a whole round pie or small pies. Chopped lamb minced meat with tomato slices, onion rings and spices is used as a filling.
The prepared unleavened dough is rolled out in thin layers. Minced meat is put inside. It is baked in national ovens. Hawavshi is consumed hot and cold.
This dish has no analogues in terms of taste. Traditional Egyptian sausages are made from minced lamb, boiled rice, fresh vegetables and spices. First, they are boiled, then fried until golden brown in deep fat or on the grill.
Traditional vegetarian food
Among the abundance of meat delicacies in Egyptian cuisine, there is also a place for vegetarian dishes.
Traditional dishes are made from beans, which are eaten raw, fried, boiled, seasoned with all kinds of hot and sweet sauces, ghee, lemon juice, sprinkled with cheese, herbs, finely chopped tomatoes, spices, caraway seeds.
Leguminous food acts as a separate dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner. But it can also be wrapped in Egyptian cakes.
Falafel is considered the most popular. It is easy to prepare it at home too. To do this, grind the boiled beans into gruel, fry with onions, garlic, herbs and spices.
Another vegetarian delight is the Arabic kushari. It is made from pasta with rice, lentils, tomato sauce, garlic, chickpeas and caramelized onions.
A delicious, nutritious thick soup, molochia, is made with a local leafy vegetable. Useful for cancer.
The national cuisine is rich in exotic delicacies. A popular dish is mahvi – a pigeon stuffed with vegetables, rice, millet or beans, well fried and flavored with spices and herbs.
Also considered delicious are the traditional puff pastry pie fetter meshaltet and Egyptian pizza with minced lamb and boiled corn.
Fried camel liver with spices is a favorite gourmet dish. Tarbes – cutlets made of lamb or beef meat, wrapped in interior fat, which are baked over coals.
Stuffed ram stomach is also popular. Fesik is a delicacy made from salted mullet or sardine. Taro soup is made from a tropical plant and served at Epiphany.
Kahk cookies with dates are festive. Everyone treats them to each other during religious holidays. The cookie recipe is many thousands of years old. A mixture of cinnamon, dates, sesame seeds is used as a filling.
For the test you need:
- water – 250 ml;
- mahlab (crushed cherry pits) – 0.25 g;
- salt – 0.25 tsp;
- dry yeast – 0.5 tbsp. l .;
- sugar – 0.25 tsp;
- flour – 2.5 cups;
- ghee – 1 glass;
- sesame seeds – 0.5 tbsp. l.
Ghee should be brought to a boil and poured into flour, stir. Dissolve yeast, sugar in warm water, mix with dough.
- dates – 1 glass;
- vegetable oil – 1.5 tbsp. l .;
- sesame seeds – 1 tbsp l .;
- cinnamon – 0.5 tsp
Rinse dates, peel, mince. Add cinnamon, sesame seeds, vegetable oil and knead like a dough. The result is a fragrant date paste.
It is necessary to form balls from the dough, flatten them and put the filling. The liver must be rounded, patterned, laid out on a baking sheet, covered with a towel and allowed to stand for 45 minutes.
Bake at 180 ° C for 20 minutes. Sprinkle it with icing sugar on top.
The most favorite dessert is aromatic, exotic kunafa with mango cream.
- unleavened dough;
- sugar syrup;
First, you should prepare the sugar syrup:
- sugar – 1.5 tbsp.;
- water – 1 tbsp.;
- whole cardamom – 3 pcs.;
- vanillin – 1 gr.;
- lemon juice – 5 drops.
Bring it to a boil and cool.
- Grind 2-3 mango pulp in a blender in mashed potatoes.
- mashed mango – 1 tbsp.;
- cream 35% fat – 0.5 tbsp.;
- lemon juice – 1 tsp;
- starch – 1 tbsp. l. (dilute in 30 ml of water and add after boiling the mass).
Boil the filling until it is completely thickened, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.
Roll out the frozen dough into thin strings, pour 150 g of butter, rub thoroughly in the palms of your hands to soak, put in a mold. Put a layer of filling inside. Close the top with the remaining dough. Bake at 200 ° C.
After cooking, the kunafu should be poured with cooled syrup and consumed cold.
Traditional Egyptian food is delicious and nutritious. But you should take precautions when buying such delights on the street so as not to get poisoned. It is best to order food from hotels or restaurants.