By Azure Lee
When Egypt comes to mind, we often associate it with iconic symbols like the Pyramids, Sphinx, Pharaohs, Hieroglyphics, Mummies, and Ancient Temples. But when Egyptian dishes come to mind, they are typically not as widely known.
Nonetheless, we are here to introduce you to the famous foods of Egypt that Egypt has to offer, which are incredibly flavorful and satisfying. Similar to other countries, food holds significant importance in Egyptian culture. Throughout Egypt, from north to south, you can discover various versions of the same dish, with each region adding its own distinct flavor or unique twist to the recipe. Doesn't it sound irresistibly appetizing?
In this article, we invite you on a culinary adventure as we explore the top 10 foods in Egypt, guaranteed to enchant and enthrall every visitor.
List Of Top 10 Foods In Egypt
Egypt is a fascinating place in many ways. There are many things to experience, including the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Valley of the Kings, the Nile River, and all in between. However, you must not overlook the tremendous joy of indulging in the glorious culinary offerings. From tantalizing street food to traditional food in Egypt, the country offers an array of gastronomic delights that will leave your taste buds craving for more.
So, what is the most popular food in Egypt?
The cuisine of Egypt has been influenced by various cultures throughout its rich history, primarily from the Middle East. In many ways, the flavors and ingredients found in Egyptian cuisine lean more towards the Arabic influence rather than being distinctly African. To assist you in navigating this delightful gastronomic journey, we have compiled a list of the finest must-try food in Egypt.
Ful Medames is a delicious and popular Egyptian street food that has been enjoyed for centuries. Fava beans are cooked all night in a massive round cauldron-looking pot called Qedra to make the ful, which is pronounced: "fool."
Both whole and mashed ful medames are options for serving. Cumin, lemon, oil, pepper, salt, parsley, onion, and butter are some of the most typical seasonings that are added to it. When enjoyed alongside a basket of freshly baked Egyptian bread for scooping it all up, this meal provides an incredibly gratifying dining experience.
Ful Medames is a delicious and popular Egyptian street food
Hawawshi is a traditional food in Egypt. It is a bread (similar to pita bread) that is typically filled with minced meat, onion, and pepper. The bread dough is filled with the heavily spiced meat mixture, which is then baked until the flavors meld, the meat is cooked, and the bread becomes a golden hue and becomes crunchy.
Hawawshi is typically served with fresh vegetables, salads, and a variety of dips, whether it is made at home or eaten in various Egyptian restaurants.
A popular street food in Egypt, kushari is also known as koshari, kosheri, koshary, and koushari and is made of rice, pasta, and lentils. The word "khichri," which describes a rice and lentil dish in Hindu, is the source of the name.
Usually, extra packs of vinegar and hot sauce are served with Kushari. Similar to Ful Medames, Kushari is sold by both street sellers and numerous restaurant franchises.
This plate of food is extremely affordable. For only $1.50, you can savor a generous serving, occasionally including additional liver.
A popular street food in Egypt, kushari is made of rice, pasta, and lentils
Fatteh, a popular food in Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries, consists of seasoned boiled beef or lamb placed on a bed of rice. To enhance the dish, toasted pieces of pita bread are added, and it is then topped with a flavorful tomato and garlic sauce.
Shawarma, a delectable Middle Eastern meat delicacy, is prepared by marinating and spit-roasting the meat. Its origins can be traced back to the Ottoman Empire era, and its name derives from the Arabic pronunciation of the Turkish word "çevirme," meaning "turning." This refers to the rotating skewer on which the meat is cooked.
Shawarmas are crafted using various meats such as lamb, turkey, chicken, beef, or a combination of different meats. These meats are slow-cooked for hours, allowing them to baste in their own juices and fat, resulting in an unparalleled succulence. However, the true secret to a perfect shawarma lies in the marinade.
Shawarma is a delectable Middle Eastern meat delicacy
Stuffed pigeons is a unique dish that is not commonly found in many other parts of the world. The preparation involves boiling the pigeons first, and then filling them with either spicy rice or grits, along with onions and tomato sauce.
After stuffing, the pigeons can be either deep-fried or baked in the oven. While this dish contains a considerable amount of fat and carbs, the experience it offers is truly remarkable. When enjoying stuffed pigeons, traditional cutlery like fork and knife are set aside, as this dish is best savored using your bare hands!
Even though hamam mahshi is typically served only on rare occasions in Egypt, it’s not difficult to find it on a restaurant menu.
Meshabek is a delightful round sweet treat that is created by deep-frying a crunchy batter, which is then soaked in either honey or sugar syrup.
Its name, "Meshabek," translates to "twisted," which perfectly describes its appearance: thick and twisted threads of deliciousness!
Originally hailing from Tanta and Damietta, Meshabek has gained popularity throughout Egypt and can now be found almost anywhere in the country.
The best part is that Meshabek is incredibly affordable. You can purchase 500 grams of this delectable dessert for just a little less than a dollar!
Meshabek is a delightful round sweet treat that is created by deep-frying a crunchy batter
During the holy month of Ramadan, Konafa is the most widely consumed dessert on Egyptian streets, where it overruns every dessert shop, cafe, and tiny kiosk.
Traditional Konafa consists of long, vermicelli-like threads of raw dough. A few years ago, Egyptians enjoyed Konafa in two classic variations: with custard or with nuts and milk.
However, in recent years, the variety of Konafa available in pastry shops has expanded significantly. Now, you can encounter a plethora of different types such as Konafa Nutella, Konafa Mangoes, Konafa Lotus, Konafa with fruits, and Konafa Ferrero Rocher.
It has become one of the annual events that Egyptian youngsters look forward to. Every Ramadan, they eagerly await the release of new Konofa versions.
This versatile dish is suitable for any gathering and can be paired with various accompaniments or enjoyed on its own.
It comprises three scrumptious layers. The base layer consists of boiled penne pasta, while the second layer combines minced beef with onions and tomato sauce.
The final layer is a comforting and rich white sauce known as Bechamel. As the casserole is baked, the top layer develops a lovely golden brown hue.
This dish is not only delicious but also satisfying as a standalone meal. It incorporates a balanced combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fat, providing a wholesome dining experience.
Macarona bechamel is not only delicious but also satisfying as a standalone meal
The dessert's name, "Om Ali," translates to "Ali's mother," and Egyptians enjoy humorously poking fun at its name.
Om Ali is made by layering pieces of puff pastry, nuts (such as almonds or pistachios), raisins, and coconut flakes in a baking dish. The pastry and fillings are then generously soaked in a sweet milk mixture, typically made from milk, sugar, and fragrant ingredients like rosewater or orange blossom water. The dessert is then baked until the top turns golden and the flavors meld together, creating a heavenly combination of textures and tastes.
When ordering Om Ali at an Egyptian restaurant, you will typically be asked a standard question: "With or without nuts?"
Interestingly, Om Ali has managed to become an integral part of every Egyptian wedding dessert spread, though the exact reason behind this tradition remains somewhat of a mystery. It is just one of the delightful secrets of Egyptian cuisine.
Best Time To Indulge In Culinary Delights In Eygpt
Experience the culinary delights of Egypt at their finest during the mild winter months from October to April. This period offers pleasant weather, making it the ideal time to explore the diverse flavors of Egyptian cuisine. Immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of Ramadan, where bustling food markets come alive with special iftar meals after sunset. Don't miss out on the opportunity to attend food festivals and cultural events throughout the year, where you can sample the best of Egyptian gastronomy.
Essential Tips For Exploring The Flavors Of Egypt
If you're planning a trip to Egypt, it's important to have the necessary travel documents. Apply for an Egypt e-Visa through our Egypt Immigration Services website for a convenient and streamlined visa application process.
Contact us today to ensure you have the necessary travel authorization to fully enjoy your culinary adventure in Egypt.