When you imagine traveling to Egypt, pyramids, pharaohs, sphinxes, mummies, and the River Nile, all spring to mind. But what about Egyptian food? It doesn’t have the global reputation of other countries but, thankfully, if you’re planning a trip to Egypt you have a host of flavor sensations to look forward to…

Egyptian food is rich, delicious and many of the dishes date back as far as the ancient times. Meat is less common in cooking and Egypt is a haven for vegetarians and vegans. The heart of Egyptian cooking lies in its core ingredients: fava beans, lentils, and spices such as cumin, coriander, and chilli.

Egyptian cuisine has been influenced by its many neighbours over the centuries including the Persians, Greeks, Ottomans, and Romans. Thankfully, with cheap flights and the easily obtainable visa for Egypt, it has never been simpler to go and sample its richness.

Kushari

Like pizza and paella, Kushari began as a hearty, economical dish which was popular with workers. It has since become universally popular. The list of ingredients is long but it basically consists of rice, lentils, and macaroni,  and a delicious sauce made from tomato, vinegar and a collection of spices. It is served with fried onions, chickpeas,

Kushari is served all over Egypt and there are restaurants which are dedicated to serving the dish. Although the original recipe is vegan, there are now all kinds of variations of the 19th-century dish.

Besarah

Besarah is a versatile, super-healthy vegan dish which can be eaten as a main or as a side, at any time of the day.  It is an incredibly tasty dish consisting of a green mash made from fava beans, leeks, cilantro, green peppers, parsley, garlic, chilli, and cumin. It is served with pita bread and topped with fried onions.

The dish dates back thousands of years to the ancient era and it is still a staple dish today. Its name derives from the two hieroglyphics ‘bees’ and ‘oro’, meaning ‘cooked beans’.

Ful mudamas

Ful mudamas (often referred to as ‘ful’ for short) is a staple breakfast dish made from cooked fava beans, cooked with olive oil, cumin, and a range of other spices. It is served with pita bread.

The recipe varies greatly and often includes chopped parsley, garlic, onion, lemon, and chilli. It is often served as a side with lunch or dinner, or in a sandwich as a popular sandwich.

Ta’meya (Egyptian falafel)

Ta’meya is Egypt’s version of the globally-popular falafel. It is an inexpensive snack and typical Egyptian street food which is made from deep-fried fava beans mixed with spices.

It is typically served with tahini, salad, and pita bread and it can be eaten at any time of the day. You can find the dish throughout Egypt though some of the best is served at Cairo’s street stalls.

Hamam mahshi

The modern process of producing veal originates from the ancient Egyptian method of making Hamam mahshi. The plumpest six-week-old squabs are chosen to be grilled and stuffed with cracked wheat to make the Egyptian delicacy.

It is a very sustainable way of producing meat in comparison to western methods. There are a number of variations of the dish including ‘farrouj mahshi’ which is made using chicken.

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