Egyptian cuisine consists of local culinary traditions such as Ful Medames, Kushari and Molokhia, while sharing similarities with food found throughout the eastern Mediterranean like kebab and falafel.
Most Egyptians perhaps consider Ful Medames, or mashed fava beans, to be the national dish. Ful is also used in making Ta'miyya or Falafel (Arabic: طعمية – فلافل). Bread accompanies most Egyptian meals; local bread is called Eish Masri or Eish Baladi (Egyptian Arabic: عيش).
Ancient Egyptians are known to have used a lot of garlic and onion in their everyday dishes. Fresh mashed garlic with other herbs is used in spicy tomato salad and is also stuffed in boiled or baked aubergines (eggplant). Garlic fried with coriander is added to Mulukhiyya (Arabic: ملوخية), a popular green soup made from finely chopped leaves. Fried onions are added to Kushari (Arabic: كشري), a dish consisting of brown lentils, macaroni, rice, chickpeas and a spicy tomato sauce.
Cuisine and CultureEdit
Although Ramadan is a month of fasting in Egypt, it is usually when Egyptians pay a lot of attention to food in variety and richness, since the whole family would gather on the breakfast table just after sunset. There are several special desserts almost exclusive to Ramadan such as Kanafeh and Atayef (Arabic: كنافة وقطايف). In this month, many Egyptians will make a special table for the poor or passers-by, usually in a tent in the street, called Ma'edat Al Rahman (Arabic: مائدة الرحمن) which translates literally as Table of (God) the Gracious (Merciful).
Christians of Egypt, mainly Copts, observe fasting periods according to the Liturgical Calendar that practically extend to more than two-thirds of the year. The diet is mainly vegan. During this fasting, Copts will usually eat vegetables fried in oil as they avoid meat, chicken, dairy products including butter.
Popular dishes include Kebab and Kofta (Arabic: كباب وكفتة), usually consisting of lamb meat, chops & minced meat on skewers grilled on charcoal.
Egyptians are famous for stuffing spicy rice in vegetables like green pepper, aubergines, courgettes and tomatoes to make Mahshi (Arabic: محشي). Mahshi is generally rolled in grapevine leaves, Mahshi Warraq Enab (Arabic: محشي ورق عنب), or in cabbage leaves, Mahshi Koronb (Arabic: محشي كرنب).
Shawerma (Arabic: شاورمة) is a popular sandwich of shredded meat or chicken, usually rolled in pita bread with Tahina sauce.
Dukkah is a dry mixture of chopped nuts, seeds and Middle Eastern spices and flavors.