CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 21…Egypt where Koshari is the National dish…

Welcome to my new A-Z …World Cuisines…where I will be looking at the countries of the world, their food and national dish or their most popular dish around the world…by this I mean some dishes are eaten in many countries as their fame has spread around the world…

Today I am looking at the cuisine of  Egypt…

My sister was very lucky to have visited Egypt but me not so… the only way I will visit Egypt is unless I win the lottery and can do a tour of all the countries I would love to visit on my bucket list it will be vicariously…a virtual tour and I invite you all to come with me…Step this way!

Koshari (also spelt Koshary or Kushari) is the national dish of Egypt. It’s served in virtually every Egyptian restaurant, in every Egyptian home, and on every Egyptian street corner…its a dish of many food profiles in one dish. A traditional Egyptian staple, mixing pasta, rice and brown lentils, and topped with a zesty tomato sauce, garlic vinegar and garnished with chickpeas and crispy fried onions…

Wherever we travel around the world street food is where it’s at…where you find the most delicious food…plus an indication of the food of a country.

Since ancient times,” aish baladi has been the cornerstone of Egyptian cuisine. In fact, you can tell just how important it is to Egyptian culture by its name as translated … Baladi means “traditional” or “authentic” while aish means “life”.

Several cultures combine to make Egyptian food what it is today… it’s hearty and healthy…Food is a big part of day-to-day living an Egyptian will tell you “we live to eat” …for a family or friends gathering the table will be laden with at least ten different types of food Egyptians pride themselves on their hospitality…The food is a mix of many cultures on a plate and if you stepped back in time to the Ancient Pharaohs you would see them sitting down and eating Koshari and Molokhia or something very similar it is an ancient food culture…

Legumes, vegetables, and fruit grown in Egypt’s rich Nile Valley and Delta feature prominently in Egyptian cuisine. While fish and seafood are common in Egypt’s coastal regions, a significant amount of traditional Egyptian food is vegetarian which is a bonus if you travel to Egypt…

Commonly used meats in Egyptian cuisine include squab, chicken, duck, and lamb. Lamb and beef are often used for grilling while dishes made with offal are a popular fast food in many Egyptian cities…commonly used spices and herbs used in Egyptian recipes include cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, coriander, cloves, chilli peppers, parsley, bay leaves, and dill…

Molokhia ...in English is “jute leaf, considered a vitamin-rich superfood that’s reputed to be a sleep and digestion aid as well as to improve eyesight…Molokhia looks like mint and tastes something like spinach…it is said it originated in Egypt during the time of the Pharaohs…

Often classed as slimy…Molokhia is also called Jew’s Mallow. Jute, like other mallows such as the marshmallow plant and okra, is mucilaginous, which means that it creates a mucus-like texture when cooked.

Served and eaten with rice, noodles or pitta bread to scoop up the tasty broth Molokhia is cooked with lots of garlic and coriander some like to make it with onions, some add cumin, and others like it leafy without mincing the leaves…as with many dishes there are variations like making it with chicken broth sometimes rabbit broth and in some areas, it is made with tomato sauce and others make it with shrimps.

Other Examples of Egyptian dishes include rice-stuffed vegetables and grape leaves, hummus, falafel, shawarma, kebab and kofta. ful medames, mashed fava beans; lentils and pasta; and bush okra stew…all very much food for which the recipes have been passed down through the ages…

A typical breakfast food would be Falafel traditionally served with eggs, cheese and pitta bread. Traditional falafel is made with chickpeas, but Egyptian ta’meya is made of fava beans.

Or if on the way to school, college or work a bag of freshly cooked falafel can be picked up from most street vendors.

Dessert…yes there is always dessert the National Dessert of Egypt is Om Ali…The dish, which is traced back to the early years of Egypt’s Mamluk era, is named after the wife of the Sultan of Egypt who asked her cooks to come up with the most delicious dessert that they could create.

Typically, pastry (bread, pastry or puff pastry) is divided into pieces and blended with pistachios, coconut flakes, raisins and plenty of sugar. Milk, sometimes with cream, is poured over the mixture, which is then sprinkled with cinnamon. Finally, the mixture is baked in the oven until the surface is golden brown…It may be eaten hot or cold and my mouth is watering already I can just taste all that lovely cinnamon and cream, coconut, and pistachios I am drooling here…

Mint tea is a common beverage as is beer…yes… beer despite conflicting views on alcohol beer is still a popular beverage…Stella beer is the most popular but there are also local brews like “Bouza” made with barley and bread this brew is traditionally home brewed following a 5,000-year-old method and of course, depending on the length of the brewing process the alcohol content varies…it is interesting that many of the methods in cooking and brewing beer can be seen on the many murals and paintings going back centuries…Life in pictures I find that fascinating…

I hope you have enjoyed this virtual tour of Egypt and its often ancient cuisine I do as always look forward to your comments x

25 thoughts on “CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 21…Egypt where Koshari is the National dish…

  1. Pingback: CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 7th -13th August 2022-Monday Musings, Health, Morbid Obesity,Energy Crisis… How to reduce energy useage in your kitchen … and Saturday Snippets where “Vine” is my one word prompt.… | Retired? No one told me!

  2. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

    Another wonderful post Carol… and they seem to have a cuisine that would suit a wide range of food tastes and requirements. I have eaten quite a bit of North African food as it was just a short hop between the south of Spain and the African coast and there were quite a few restaurants. I enjoyed very much..♥

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  3. Jim Borden

    I guess I’ve never had Egyptian food because none of this sounds familiar. But the Koshari and Om Ali sound delicious! I may have to find a place that serves these foods! And I’m with you on the street food being a great way to learn about a country’s food…

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    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Hey Jim…lovely to see you here…I hope you and your family are well…I agree both of those sound lovely and I would love to try them but unlikey to find any places here the only option is to make them myself which is why I experiment so much here…lol

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  4. olganm

    One of my best friends is Egyptian, and I’ve visited a few times, so I’ve tried most of those (not the sweet, I must say. She is from Alexandria, though, and not a Muslim but a Copt, so I wonder…). I hadn’t tried koshari until this year, and don’t recall seeing it before. I liked it, but when my friend bought it for some of her relatives, they dismissed it (as I guess it is not considered particularly fancy). I love falafel and the spices and sauces. I hope you might get to visit someday. It is quite a fabulous place, despite some issues (like the ever-present army).

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    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Thats lovely, Olga …I would love to visit my sister has but it is way down on my every growing bucket list unfortunately…and as you say there is of course the presence of the army…

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  5. Pingback: CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 21…Egypt where Koshari is the National dish… – MobsterTiger

  6. beetleypete

    I have been to Egypt, though much of the food we ate was ‘international’, served in the hotels we stayed in. However, we did have more traditional food served on the small cruise boat when we went down The Nile, and that was very tasty.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

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    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Lucky you, Pete.. My sister went but I haven’t unluckily it is somewhere I would love to visit though but unlikely to now… Sadly hotels around the world do tend to serve international food… xx

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