Roots of Egyptian food
Egypt is the gift of the Nile. This is a famous saying by Herodotus,
the ancient Greek historian who wrote about Egypt about 2400 years ago.
Nile river has indeed been the main influential agent in shaping what
Egyptian ate. Although Egypt area is around 1,000,000 square kilometers
only 6% inhabited by Egyptians which is constitutes the Nile
valley, delta and coastal cities (mainly Alexandria, Marsa Matrouh, Port
said, Damietta and Hurghada) while the rest is a lifeless desert.
Ancient Egyptians mainly grew wheat and barley, they used wheat to bake bread
(which has always been the main food item in any Egyptian meal) and used
barley to make beer. Beer was an ancient national drink in Egypt
although wine was the drink for upper classes.
Another main crop Egyptians grew was beans or Foul as its current
Egyptian Arabic name. Beans can be cooked in several ways and makes a
main Egyptian meal at any time during the day (breakfast, lunch or
Egyptian food recipes roots grow from the diversity of Egyptian
culture which was influenced by foreign invasion, trade with other
nations and hospitality of Egyptians to others. Main influence to
Egyptian cuisine came from Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Greece. Egyptian
added their flavor to foreign dishes and also their names.
Agriculture has always been the main achievement of Egyptians through
their history and vegetables constitute the main ingredient of most
Egyptian dishes in additions to meat (beef and chicken). Fruits are
eaten as dessert after a meal with many other sweet dishes that
Egyptians excel at making.
Some famous Egyptian dishes
Melokhia (or Molokhya):
A traditional dish in Egypt is Melokhya which is a soup made from a
leafy green summer vegetable called Molokhya or Melokhya and served with
rice and meat or chicken. You can eat it with bread or rice or both.
made in different ways with nuts, onion, vegetables and meat. Also rice
can be stuffed in grape leafs with spices and sometimes meat to make
Warak el enab which is a popular meal in Egypt. Rice is the main
ingredient in Mah-shi or stuffed food which is made with either cabbage,
koussa or grape leaves.
are cooked in spiced dem'a or baldman.
are either fried, boiled or stuffed. Potatoes are also cooked in
We list here some sweet desserts which is popular in Egypt:
- Basbousa is a type of sweet made of semolina pastry and
soaked in honey and tapped with hazelnuts.
- Baklawah (filo dough, honey, and nuts)
- Um Aly (very popular in Egypt) is a raisin cake soaked in
- Konafa (mainly eaten in Ramadan)
- Katayef (mainly eaten in Ramadan)