a lot of people know that Egypt is not only famous for its ancient monuments,
culture and revolution, but it is also famous for its great food. Egyptian food
is a mixture of all the different civilizations that came to Egypt in the
history of its existence. Nowhere in the world will you be able to taste so
many cultures in one plate. Below is a list of the most delicious and popular
dishes served up in Egypt today.
Kushari: Considered to be the Egyptian national dish, it
consists of pasta and tomato sauce, among other items, including rice, lentils,
caramelized onions, garlic and chickpeas. Having four sources of carbohydrates
has made it the most popular lunch item in most common food outlets in Egypt
for over 100 years. Interestingly enough, Kushari’s origins are not Egyptian at
all, in fact it was a dish brought in by the British army in Egypt in the 19th
century: the pasta was imported from Italy, the tomatoes are from Latin America
and the rice from Asia, however the idea to mix them all together in one
extremely delicious and vegetarian dish was conceived in Egypt.
Medames: One of the common staple foods in Egypt, it consists of lava
beans served with oil, garlic and lemon juice. Ful Medames can be traced to
Pharaonic roots, and quantities have been found in the Twelfth dynasty. The
word “Medames” is Coptic for “buried” which refers to the way it was initially
cooked: in a pot buried in hot coal or sand. Ful Medames can be served with
many embellishments such as butter, tomato sauce, tahini, fried or boiled eggs
and pastrami. However, the most traditional method is to eat it plain and
salted in an Egyptian bread bun. Nowadays, Ful Medames is exported to many
Middle Eastern countries such as Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.
Fatta: Considered a Nubian dish, fatta is usually prepared for festivities such
as a woman’s first birth, and both Christian and Muslim holiday celebrations.
It consists of layers of rice and fried bread, covered in a garlic and vinegar
meat soup. Large chunks of stewed beef and deep-fried poached eggs are usually
served along with the rice and bread base. As you can presume, Fatta is a
really fattening dish, with an extremely high calorific value; it is rarely
eaten during the year, except after a major religious fast such as the 50 days
before Easter for Coptic Christians, or the month of Ramadan before Eid-Al-Futr.
Konafah is an Egyptian sweet made of a very thin noodle-like pastry. The
origins of Konafah are very mysterious, its presence has been recorded in Arab
medieval cookbooks in both Egypt and the Levant and Turkey, but its exact
origins have always been unknown. Konafah is made by drizzling long rows of the
thin noodles in their liquid state on a hot plate until they become dry and
more rigid. The now-rigid noodles are then mixed with butter or oil and wrapped
around a filling made out of nuts, whipped cream or both. It is baked and
presented with a fruit syrup on top.