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    As Egypt borders the Mediterranean in the Northeastern part of Africa, its culinary influence is that of most east Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Turkey, and Israel. The incompatible weather conditions make it difficult for the Egyptians to grow their own crops, and therefore, they rely on legumes, vegetables and dry fruits like figs and dates. Meat such as lamb and dried fish are considered as luxuries since the time of the ancient Egyptian civilization. Egyptian cuisine is a confluence of many cultures on a plate.

    The Popular Cuisine Of Egypt

    Here is a list of some exquisite dishes from Egypt that are not kebabs, shawarmas, or falafels. So, which of these would you be gorging on first?

    1. Shakshuka

    Shakshuka

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    Shakshuka is a vegetarian dish most popular in parts of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Countries. It is a staple breakfast dish originated in Tunisia, a Country in North Africa. Shakshuka is basically a dish of poached eggs in a spicy tomato and green pepper sauce. Spices such as cumin, paprika, garlic, and parsley are used to complement the sweetness of the tomatoes. It is often served in a large iron cast skillet with some whole wheat and bran bread called Baladi bread on the side. Baladi bread is a predominant Egyptian food item that can either be consumed on its own or as an accompaniment. This breakfast is generally followed by a steaming cup of milky tea.

    Where to try: Restaurant Zooba
    Location: 26th of July street, Zamalek, Cairo 11511, Egypt

    Must Read: 10 Unique Things To Do In Egypt That No Travel Guide Will Ever Tell You About


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    2. Ful Mudammas

    Ful Mudammas

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    Ful mudammas is a cheap street food which is also part of a staple Egyptian diet. It is cooked by simmering the fava beans in a large cauldron called Qidra, overnight. The mashed beans are then flavored with oil, garlic, lemon juice, and salt. It is often eaten alongside falafel as a street food or as part of the breakfast in most of the households in Egypt. Considered to be the National dish, the origin of ful mudammas dates back to the Egyptian civilization making it a part of the ancient Egyptian cuisine. Baladi bread and some pickled vegetables serve as a great accompaniment to this dish.

    Where to try: Kazaz Restaurant
    Location: 38 Sabry Abou Alam Street, Cairo 11511, Egypt

    3. Koshari

    Koshari

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    The elements of Koshari are influenced by the British rule in Egypt. Koshari Egyptian food is mainly a blend of rice, hummus, pasta, black lentils, caramelized onions, and tomato sauce, dressed with a chili vinaigrette. This filling dish takes the second place in the Egyptian street food after ful mudammas. This vegetarian dish is affordable at many food carts and restaurants across the Country.

    Where to try: Koshari al Tahrir restaurant
    Location: Sharia Abd el-Khalik Sarwat, Cairo 11511, Egypt

    Suggested Read: 10 Mystical Places To Visit In Egypt, The Gift Of The Nile!

    4. Fattah

    Fattah

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    Fattah is a closer relative of Biryani. Part of the royal Egyptian cuisine, this dish originated around Nubia and are prepared only during special occasions such as weddings and religious festivals like Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha. It is traditionally made by layering rice, meat(lamb or beef) and Baladi bread on top of each other in multiples and seasoned with tomato sauce and vinegar.

    Where to try: Al Khal Egyptian restaurant
    Location: Intercontinental Cairo Citystars, Cairo 11511, Egypt

    Suggested Read: Newly Discovered 4,400-Year Old Tomb In Egypt Is Stealing Giza’s Thunder Big Time

    5. Mulukhiyah

    Mulukhiyah

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    Mulukhiyah is a traditional Egyptian food dating back to the times of Pharaohs. It is made by cooking the leaves of white jute and other corchorus plant species. The leaves are then mixed with chicken or beef broth seasoned with garlic and spices. The leafy soup is rich with potassium and vitamin B6 making mulukhiyah a nutritive Egyptian food. The coastal parts of Egypt use seafood instead of beef or chicken to make the dish. It is then served either with rice and chunks of meat or with the Baladi bread.

    Where to try: Abou el sid restaurant
    Location: 26th of July street, Cairo 11511, Egypt


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    6. Fesikh

    Fesikh

    Fesikh is a simple Egyptian food prepared during the spring celebration festival of Sham el-Nassim. A popular dish in the coastal regions, Feseekh is more of a snack made by fermenting grey mullets in salt for over a month. The sun-dried fish is then served with some cut vegetable salad and pita bread. The fish has an intense smell to it which may not be liked by many. But for a seafood lover, it is worth a try.

    Where to try: Available only in households

    Suggested Read: A 4000 Year Old Tomb In Egypt Has Just Been Opened For Public & It’ll Leave Your Mind-Boggled!

    7. Sayadiyah

    Sayadiyah

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    For all the seafood lovers, unlike Feseekh, Saadiyat is a delicious seafood dish that leaves one asking for more. It is primarily cooked in the coastal cities like Alexandria, Egypt. This recipe uses seafood such as white fish, bass or bluefish. The fish is marinated with lemon juice and some light spices before shallow frying it. These fried fillets of fish are then baked in an earthen pot in a traditional way along with some flavored rice, onions and tomato sauce. It is then seasoned with garlic, vinegar, and other spices. The rice is mixed with chunks of meat such as lamb or chicken making it a flavorsome meal altogether.

    Where to try: Osmanly restaurant
    Location: 12 Ahmed Ragheb Street, Garden city, Cairo 11511, Egypt

    8. Kunafa

    Kunafa

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    Egyptian culinary skills excel when it comes to desserts. Kunafa is a sweet dish made widely during the season of Ramadan. It is dubbed as the queen of Egyptian sweets and is an ultimate treat for the people with a sweet tooth. It is made out of a layer of noodles and filled with cream cheese and nuts. The recipe is very tedious when it comes to making the noodles. The noodles are made by pouring them in their liquid state onto a plate as strips of thin strings and dried until they become very rigid. After wrapping them up with the filling, they are baked until they are crispy and then drenched in sweet sugar syrup or honey. Pistachios are used for garnishing the dish. Contemporary Kunafas have a filling with Nutella, mango custard or avocado.

    Where to try: Osmanly restaurant
    Location: 12 Ahmed Ragheb Street, Garden city, Cairo 11511, Egypt

    Suggested Read: 7 Best Honeymoon Places In Egypt To Visit In 2018 For A Romantic Stint By The Pyramids

    9. Umm Ali

    Umm Ali

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    Yet another sweet dish that leaves one craving for more. It is a rich traditional dessert filled with dry fruits and cream. It is a common dessert in the streets of Egypt. The name comes from Ali’s mother. The legend says that she prepared this dessert to celebrate the death of her rival. Contrary to as vicious as it may sound, this traditional Egyptian food tastes heavenly. It is made with layers of puff pastry, milk, whipped cream and nuts. It is then baked and served hot with dry fruit garnishing. One should try it along with a scoop of custard or ice cream on the side. Umm Ali resembles the usual bread pudding in a lot of many ways only richer and creamier.

    Where to try: El Malky desserts
    Location: 28 El Masshad el Hussainy street, Cairo 1151, Egypt

    10. Mint tea/coffee

    Mint tea-coffee

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    Egyptians enjoy their tea or coffee all throughout the day. However, the meals are always ended with a cup of the authentic Egyptian mint tea or coffee. The mint tea is a twist on the green tea made with spearmint leaves and sugar. It was first discovered in Morocco and slowly grew its popularity on Egyptian soil. The authentic coffee is made in a special pot with a narrow opening called a cezve. The coffee is prepared by mixing the coffee powder and sugar with water and boiling it on fire surrounded by hot sand. The hot sand is supposed to act as an insulator to maintain a particular temperature. The coffee is then allowed to settle down for a few minutes before consuming instead of filtering it.

    Where to try: Qahwa Araby
    Location: Victor Amoniel square, Alexandria, Egypt

    Frequently Asked Questions About Egyptian Cuisine

    Still confused? Let these common questions help you out:

    What are some of the Egyptian desserts that are worth a try?

    A. Other than the traditional sweets such as Umm Ali and Kanufa, one can try baklava, tulumba, Basbousa, rice pudding, and sweet goulash.

    Is Egyptian cuisine spicy?

    A. No. Egyptian food is always lightly spiced. Their main spice mixture called dukkah is a pounded mixture of spices (cumin and fennel seeds), herbs (coriander) and nuts(hazelnuts and almonds).

    Further Read: A Trip To Egypt? See What All To See And Do For The Best Holiday Experience

    Egypt is a culinary paradise. Rich in culture and heritage, Egypt scores well even when it comes to food. It is very intriguing how lentils and legumes play an important role in Egyptian cuisine. So, people with delectable palates, plan your trip to Egypt and devour the mindblowing savory and sweet dishes served to you.


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    Category: Egypt, food

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