Egyptian Food- Many Cultures on One Plate - FoodiBase

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Egyptian Food- Many Cultures on One Plate

Egyptian Food

Egyptian food, they say is an amalgamation of various cultures and civilizations that influenced it through out the courses of history. One can literally taste many cultures on one plate. The strongest influences are from Middle Eastern nations, Northern Africa and a good part of Europe. The Egyptian food culture is a rich blend of herbs, vegetables, fruits, desserts, meats and fish. The greatest quality of Egyptian food lies in the ease with which regions far from the Nile can adapt it. 

Egyptian Food Customs of each Household

Before we get to know about Egyptian food, I’d like to introduce you to five customs that are considered respectable in Egyptian households.

Consuming food with one’s right hand only.
One’s feet should be out of sight while eating Egyptian food.
Washing both hands before savoring the food.
Always compliment the cook.
Never visit a dinner party in Egypt without an offering, no matter how small.

Top 20 Scrumptious Dishes in Egyptian Food

Mahshi A dish for vegeterians  that consists of stuffed vegetables and semi cooked rice wrapped up in green peppers.
Koshary Typical Egyptian food combining  grains, onion, garlic, and a spicy tomato sauce. Usually served in a bowl, this too is vegeterian.
Roz meammar Baked dish prepared with cooked rice, milk and fatty full cream.
Aish Conventional Egytian pocket bread that is salted in nature. 
Baba Ghanoush A delicious smoky flavoured aubergine dip which is best served with pita bread.
Fatta Festive Egyptian food that is essentially mutton soup with tanginess of garlic and white vinegar.
Kibda Kibda is a popular street food which is prepared from beef liver and served with spicy sauce or dip.
Samak mashwy  Grilled fish with a stuffing of pre soaked dates in cold water.
Tehina salad Comprises of citric juice usually lemon, black pepper,  cumin, parsley, and olive oil.
Umm Ali Egyptian hot dessert prepared from breads in layers that are soaked in milk and garnished with nuts.
Molokhia Healthy green soup prepared from jute leaves, Molokhia aids in fitness. It is served over meat and rice.
Aish baladi Usually baked in scorching hot ovens, Aish baladi is Egyptian flat bread and can be called as the corner stone of Egyptan food.
Bram rice A very unique dish where rice, milk and goat liver are cooked together to create a strange combination.
Hamam Mahshi Semi liquid in consistency, Hamam Mahshi is green in colour and is prepared from jute leaves.
Tahini  Essentially a dip for snacks and along side food,Tahini is pasy in nature comprising Sesame.
Roz Bel Laban  Roz Bel Laban is rice pudding with sprinkes of orange flavour, vanilla or even chocolate if you want.
Macaroni béchamel A snack made from penne pasta, Macaroni bechamel has pasta combined with spiced meat.
Basbousa Prepared from Semolina flour, Basbousa is the Egyptian sweet cake which is enjoyed throughout the region.
Kishk A preserved dairy product , kishk is essentially a type of yogurt in Egyptian food.
Feseekh Eaten as festive food especially during spring season,  Feseekh is dried mullet fish.

Do Egyptians Love their Drinks ?

Yes they absolutely do. By drinks, I do not intend alcoholic drinks. Egypt is predominantly a Muslim country and alcohol is Islam is considered haram. Who needs alcohol when there are plenty of healthy and fresh options available ?  The geographic location of Egypt makes seasonal fruits available to it around the year. No wonder the beverages of this region are so heart filling.

Popular Egyptian Drinks to Quench your Thirst

 Karkade Karkade is tea made from Hibiscus plant. In fact it is commonly known as Hibiscus Iced tea. As legend has it, was famous among the Pharaohs and was prepared from dried Hibiscus flowers.
 Sahlab Sahlab is a hot beverage and is prepared from an extremely rare variety of Orchid.  The Orchid imparts it creaminess and flakiness.
Tamrhindi Commonly consumed at supper, Tamrhindi , as the name suggests is prepared from Tamarind 
 Sobia Refreshing and chilled coconut based drink which is perfect for sonsumption on a hot summer day. Sobia is one of the favourite street beverages too.
 Qasab When the heat is on, Qasab is an excellent way to relax yourself. Prepared from sugarcane , Qasab is good for health too.

Egyptian Food that Successfully Made its way in India

An interesting aspect of Egyptian food is that , it has made its way in India as well. A vast majority os us might not have noticed but we have at some point in our lives tasted a Egpytian food in the form of the subsequent 5 dishes –

HUMMUS It is widely believed that hummus originated in Egypt and not middle east. The hummus that we Indians relish has a close relation with the Egyptian hummus. Often in cafes and restaurants in India, hummus is served along with pita bread and salads.
SHAWARMA Shawarma is made from marinated meat that has been slow roasted on a vertical spit for many hours .Shawarma has its origin in Lebanon but is relished vastly in Egypt so much so that they consider it their own.  juicy, tender, well-seasoned meat
FALAFEL  Falafel is a circular deep fried ball  prepared from various ingredients. In Egypt, chickpeas and flava beans are preferred but in India, we substitute the same with grams or even potatoes. Just like hummus, India has welcomed the falafel in its cuisine warmly. In fact we’ve even created a more spiced up version that vendors sell on the streets especially in metropolitan cities. 
KOFTA Kofta is referred to as kefta in Egyptian food and consists of meat balls spiced on skewers or even fried. In the Indian version, we mostly stuff grated gourd and make balls with a crust of gram flour before frying.
HALAWA An extremely popular dessert in Egyptian food , Halawa is known as halwa in India. The difference lies not in the preparation methodology but the ingredients. In India we use semolina to prepare halwa while in Egypt they use sesame paste to cook it.

The world knows Egypt by the sobriquet – ‘Gift of the Nile.’ But many have to explore the regional treats Egyptian food has to offer. Why not take a tour of this wonderful land yourself and find out.

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