When it comes to cuisine Egypt offers a varied and simple selection of dishes. It doesn’t rely on elaborate preparing and cooking, instead dishes are often light, simple and packed full of goodness. Many Egyptian dishes consist of mostly vegetable and legumes, which is a cheaper alternative to meat.
Depending on where you are in the country the dish might vary from region to region. The fundamentals of the dish remain the same, just adjusted with a unique local twist.
If you are visiting Alexandria, Port Said or Suez then expect to find this seafood dish on the menu. It is traditionally made from bass, bluefish and mullet and is cooked with rice, a tomato sauce, and baked in a tagine. This dish is perfect for seafood lovers.
- Ful wa Ta’meya (fava beans and falafel)
For an Egyptian spin on fast food try ful mudammas and t’ameya, which is the original Egyptian fast food. Ta’meya is a falafel that is made slightly differently to the Lebanese way, with crushed fava beans instead of hummus. Ful is also made of fava beans and then simmered all night in a Qedra.
- Aish Baladi
Made from emmer wheat and barley, aish baladi is fluffy pitta bread that is found all over the country. It is often freshly baked and can be used in place of cutlery, where you will find yourself mopping up every last morsel.
This is often referred to as the national dish of Egypt. Traditionally considered street food, this dish is made of lentils, chickpeas, rice, macaroni, and tomato sauce. It really is a mixture of comfort foods that can be found eaten on the streets as well in the home. The most popular place to try the dish is at Koshary Abou Tarek in Cairo, where it only costs a few dollars. A really low-cost dish to get you going for the afternoon.
Fatteh is a common dish use in big celebrations around Egypt. You can find it eaten during Ramadan and also at weddings. It is made from a freshly toasted flatbread, cut into wedges and layered with meat and a whole host of sauces and vegetables. It’s a spicy, zesty dish and is often served on a platter for sharing.
- Kebab wa Kofta
Kofta is a staple across Egypt and can be found on every menu, no matter where you are in the country. The long, chunky tubes of meat are made of ground down lamb or beff and mixed with spices and skewered to be cooked on the grill. Expect to eat this in a fresh pitta and a colourful salad.
- Om Ali
For the dessert option you could try the traditional bread pudding. This recipe is said to date back to the 13th century and has a very interesting back story to its name.