Egypt is the home of The Great Sphinx, The Valley of The Kings and The Al-Azhar Mosque, and it supplies an endless array of colourful, flavoursome, and stunning food. The cuisine of this country consists heavily of vegetables and fruits, because the rich Nile Valley and Delta rivers produce high quantities of crops.
If you are planning to visit this exquisite country, there are certain foods and beverages you can’t miss. From charcoal-grilled kebabs to a juicy Baba Ghanoush, the flavours you can explore whilst taking in the sights are unbelievable. Below are just a few of the delicious treats you can indulge in.
One of the national dishes of Egypt, this dish is made up of pasta and tomato sauce, but also includes rice, lentils, garlic, chickpeas, and caramelised onions. This delicious dish is popular as a lunch item, and has been a staple in the region for well over a hundred years. However, it may surprise you to find that the origin of this delight doesn’t come from Egypt itself, it was brought to the country in the nineteenth century by the British Army troops.
It melds together many cultures; the pasta is originally from Italy, the tomatoes from Latin America and rice originating from Asia. When you mix these flavoursome ingredients together, the combination serves up a stunning vegetarian pallet which has become a signature dish of Egypt.
Made from the leaves of Corchorus and Jute – plants which only grow in the regions of east and north Africa – this brilliantly vibrant dish is prepared by chopping the leaves up with garlic or coriander. It is usually served with Egyptian bread or rice. If you visit Egypt, you will notice that different cities in the country will prepare the dish in different ways. In more coastal areas, a fish base will be used, such as shrimp, whereas other areas will use beef or chicken. Be sure to grab some home-made Egyptian bread to swoop up the leftover Mulokhia at the bottom of the bowl.
For those with a sweeter tooth, Konafa is a must-eat. This sweet delight is made up of thin pastry, and is cooked up from long rows of thin noodles in their liquid state. By drizzling these on a hot plate and mixing them with butter and oil, the sizzle lets off breath-taking smells. After being wrapped around a filling of nuts and whipped cream, the noodlelike substance is baked and then finished with a fruit syrup on top.
This unique and tempting dessert is one not to miss when visiting Egypt and has been recorded as far back as medieval cookbooks from the areas of Turkey and Egypt.
Tea is an extremely popular drink in Egypt, and in fact is the national drink. Egyptian tea is normally served black and sour, served in a glass and only sometimes with milk. The most common varieties of Egyptian tea are Koshary and Saiidi. Coffee is also a prevalent beverage, with it being a traditional welcome in households. Usually coffee is prepared in a small pot and served in a small cup, be sure to try a cup of pure Egyptian tea or coffee on your travels.
The Egyptian cuisine may not seem as elaborate as others, such as French or Italian, and doesn’t rely on a huge number of spices, but it is simple and flavoursome. Being more vegetable heavy, rather than meat based, the food becomes nutritious, cheaper, and provides a million hearty flavours from natural sources. Each region is sure to add their own twist and flavours to these dishes for endless discover.
Egypt is a glorious part of the world, with many spectacular sights to feast your eyes on. Not only this, but an endless amount of unique foods to sink your teeth into.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team here at Hajj and Umrah Express, who will be more than happy to discuss more wonders that Egypt has to offer, and how we can help you plan and prepare your trip. Combining these fascinating foods and the stunning sights with Hajj and Umrah, your trip is bound to be one to remember.