Egypt is known for its rich culture, beautiful natural scenery, and mouth-watering traditional dishes, here is Top Traditional Egyptian Food.
Egyptian food has been around for thousands of years. It’s a mix between the Middle Eastern cuisine with African influences mixed in – so it’s no wonder why there is so much variety when it comes to Egyptian dishes.
Ancient Egyptian cuisine is unlike any other in the world. Although borrowing influences from Eastern Mediterranean food – like stuffed vegetables, kebabs, kofta, and shawarma – it has developed its own distinct diet that relies on ingredients found along the Nile River’s fertile banks.
An Egyptian diet is centered around legumes and vegetables, generously seasoned with a vast larder of fresh herbs and spices. Some examples are cumin, cardamom, coriander, aniseed cinnamon mint clove which can be easily obtained from the Indian subcontinent Europe or East Asia.
The country’s diverse geography provides an array of different ingredients that are used in their cuisine. There are tons of dishes to choose from but if you don’t have time to try them all, here are some must-tries!
Egyptians consider kushari to be their national dish. It’s a multicultural blend of macaroni, rice, lentils, and spiced tomato sauce sprinkled with traditional Egyptian herbs and spices. Delicious hot or cold!
Egyptian peasants eat their most popular dish compote or ful medames. Fava beans are cooked in lemon juice and parsley with garlic, onion, chili pepper for a tangy taste.
The whole mixture is served on bread that acts as a utensil to help to eat the fava bean compote instead of using silverware like spoons or forks.
Ful Medames can be found mostly in northern cities such as Cairo & Giza where people tend to have more money than the rest of Egypt due to tourism income from ancient Egyptian monuments
Egypt’s second-most popular dish is ful medames.
Molokhiya is a leafy green vegetable with a distinct bitter flavor that tastes like okra. It’s used in stews with beef, chicken, and rabbit for meals served on white rice or bread.
Coastal areas use molokhiya to wrap fish before grilling it so the seafood takes on the delicious flavors of this unique plant which turns silky when boiled or fried.
The dish fatta originates from ancient religious ceremonies in Nubia, where layers of fried rice and bread are topped with tomato sauce, vinegar, and meat broth made from sheep or cow brains.
Fatta is considered as one of the Top Traditional Egyptian Food, it is too complex for everyday dining because it’s reserved only for special occasions like festivals.
Ta’meya is one of Egypt’s most popular vegetarian dishes and the Eastern Mediterranean equivalent to falafel.
The dish consists of crushed fava beans that are fried in oil and spices such as herbs or cumin. They’re usually served on a thin flatbread like Eish Baladi with salad, crispy onions, hot sauce, all rolled up into a wrap for easy eating.
Alexandrian Liver Sandwich
The liver sandwich is an iconic Egyptian dish, and it’s especially popular in Alexandria.
Made with chopped-up fried livers outside of a soft bread roll or baguette, the marriage between Western-style sandwiches and Eastern spices has made this street food option one of Alexandria’s finest lunch options.
The vegetarian dish Besarah is made from fava beans, ground into a thick paste, and served with dill. It’s typically served as the main course alongside flatbread and green onions.
Sometimes however it can be lighter and thinner than other versions.
Sayadeya is a baked fish dish, which consists of either bluefish, bass, or lionfish.
The ingredients include parsley and cumin to give it an exotic flavor while the tomato sauce allows for flavors from the spices to infuse into the fillet itself.
it’s one of the Top Traditional Egyptian Food The national bread, Eish Baladi is a thick pita-style flatbread with origins dating back thousands of years.
It’s the most iconic gamosa (pocket for fillings) utensil in the country which is served alongside vegetable meals to scoop up food and provide sustenance and protein.
At extremely high temperatures, this dough gives it an airy shape that resembles a pita when baked right off from ovens!
Eggah is one of the Top Traditional Egyptian Food that made from an egg batter with fried onion, parsley, and cumin.
This omelet can be baked in the oven or cooked on the hob depending upon your preferences.
It has become popular as brunch throughout Egypt over time where it’s served hot for breakfast before noon!
There are two variations of this dish, both with a rich stew prepared from okra and tomatoes.
One is Egyptian cuisine which contains lamb as the meat for cooking, with garlic sauce adding flavor to enhance its taste.
The other variation hails from Middle Eastern countries where it typically consists of dried beans as one ingredient instead of using lamb as an option during the preparation process.
In addition to these ingredients including ta’aleya (garlic), coriander spices will also be added into each version.
To celebrate Sham El Nessim, also known as “spring festival”, Egyptians serve feseekh.
Feseekh is made of fermented mutton which has been dried in the sun and salted for several months before being served. Since it dates back to Pharaonic times, this dish holds a special place during the spring festival celebration.
The hawawshi, a type of turnover pastry dish gets its name from the Arabic word for “to curl”.
The filling consists of minced lamb or beef marinated with pepper, parsley, and chili.
Similar to lahmacun in the Middle East, it is made up of two round pieces pressed together around your favorite ingredients baked until golden brown.
The Middle Eastern delicacy of basbousa has become one of Egypt’s most popular dessert options, where it is served with walnuts, syrup, and cream.
This sweet cake is made from semolina or farina soaked in a sugary liquid before being baked into the oven. The syrup often contains rose water for flavor which can be accompanied by dried coconut to taste.
For a traditional Egyptian feast, nothing satisfies quite like an indulgent serving of baklava. Originating in the Caucasus mountains at the time of the Ottoman Empire, this rich and sweet dessert is made from intricate layers of filo pastry with chopped nuts and fruits held together by syrup and honey often served with a generous portion of cream for added flavor.
Kebab and Kofta
Egypt’s favorite food is meat on a stick. It consists of marinated chunks of lamb or beef, which are grilled until crispy and browned on the outside but still raw in the middle.
The dish comes with chopped tomato salad that adds freshness to every bite while flatbread provides an excellent base for dipping into sauces made from richly flavored yogurt blended with various spices like cumin seeds, coriander leaves, mint leaves, etc.
One of the Top Traditional Egyptian Food, Baba ganoush is a dish you will soon find on Egyptian restaurant menus. It’s made from roasted eggplant, olive oil, garlic, sesame paste (tahini), and lemon juice. Like hummus, it goes well with pita bread!
With the combination of rice and herbs, this dish is perfect for vegetarians. It’s often made with peppers or zucchini that are stuffed before baking them in an oven alongside a sauce to accompany it.
A must-try dessert in Egypt is the kanefeh.
It’s a cake made with semolina noodles, similar to angel hair pasta, which are rolled and flattened then cooked together with butter and cream cheese over low heat.
Once ready it’s soaked into a syrup that has some groundnuts mixed in as well before being served on plates or bowls for everyone!
You need to try this one-of-a-kind dessert even if you visit Egypt for just a few minutes.
Om Ali, which means ‘Ali’s Mother,’ is made of layers of puff pastry soaked in milk and mixed with nuts, raisins, coconut flakes, and sugar then baked into perfection.
The warmth combined with the variety of ingredients makes it unforgettable!
Macaroni Béchamel is a classic Egyptian dish that will leave you full for hours. It’s like the Italian lasagna or mac and cheese, but with some special twists to make it uniquely Egyptian!
This comforting meal starts with rigatoni noodles cooked in minced meat mixed together with chopped onions and tomato paste. Then it gets topped off by our famous béchamel sauce- making this an extra creamy delight!
Roz Bel Laban
If you’re a fan of rice pudding, then the Egyptian version will be right up your alley. It’s made from cooked rice and milk with sugar typically topped off with pistachios!
The base of this drink is a mix between hot milk and pure orchid root powder – it’s what gives the luscious treat its flavor.