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Egyptian food has been influenced by conquerors and geography: Ottoman spices, French pastries, Mediterranean olives and tomatoes.
Egypt most known dish is kushari. Macaroni, rice, and lentils make up the main ingredients for kushari. Chickpeas, garlic, vinegar, spiced tomato sauce, and crispy fried onions are added on top of the dish. Kushari is perfect for vegans and vegetarians.
Ful Medames
Ful medames, also known simply as ful, competes with kushari as Egyptian most famous dish. Some writers deem that ful is among the earliest meals created in the country. They believe that it was first prepared as early as the ancient times.
Cooked fava beans are the primary ingredient for ful. It may be served with egg or vegetable slices. Cumin, chili pepper, onion, garlic, parsley and vegetable oil are added to make it more flavorful.
Ful isn’t only enjoyed in Egypt. You may also find it in restaurants in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Somalia, and Yemen. It even has local versions in Armenia and Ethiopia.
Mesaqa‘ah
This Egyptian dish is the local version of moussaka. Moussaka is deemed to be a dish from Middle East and Greece. It’s usually based on either potato or eggplant. Mesaqa‘ah, however, is mainly based on eggplant.
To make mesaqa‘ah, eggplant slices are first grilled along with slices of onion, chili pepper, and green pepper. Afterwards, the fried slices are soaked in tomato sauce. Then, the slices are stacked together. Cooked ground beef may be added as well. Once done, the dish is baked.
Mahshi
Also called dolma, mahshi belongs to the family of stuffed dishes commonly found in Mediterranean countries. The stuffing is made from a mixture of rice, onion, crushed tomatoes, and various herbs and spices. Once the said ingredients are blended well, they are stuffed into vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant, green bell pepper and even tomato. The stuffing may also be wrapped in cabbage or grape leaves. The stuffed vegetables are cooked in a pot. The pot is filled with either beef or chicken broth.
It’s not known as to which country mahshi came from. Aside from Egypt, it’s also prepared a lot in Azerbaijan, Greece, Italy, Iraq and Turkey. In Egypt, mahshi is served warm while in other countries, it may be chilled first.

Baba ganoush  Print Recipe

Will keep covered in the fridge for several days.
Serves: 4
Preparation time:15 minutes
Cooking time:10
1 medium eggplant*
Sea salt
Olive oil (for roasting)
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 large clove garlic (grated or finely minced)
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, parsley or basil (optional // chopped)
Preheat oven to high broil and position a rack at the top of the oven.
Slice your eggplant into 1/4 inch rounds and sprinkle with sea salt and place in a colander in the sink to drain any excess liquid. After 10 minutes, rinse slightly and then pat dry between two towels.
Arrange on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Roast for 5-10 minutes, turning once or twice, until the eggplant is softened and golden brown.

Remove from pan, stack and wrap the rounds in foil to lock in moisture – wait 5 minutes.
Peel away most of the skin of the eggplant and add flesh to a food processor. It should be soft and tender and the skin should come off easy.

Add lemon juice, garlic, tahini, a pinch of salt and mix until creamy. Add herbs last and pulse to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Serve with pita and/or pita chips or veggies.

Basic hummus  Print Recipe

The use of store bought canned chickpeas speeds up the process with good results.
Hummus Recipe Variations• Spice it. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and/or coriander adds an extra layer of flavor.• Roasted red peppers. Blend in 1 roasted red pepper and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika.• Mix in pesto. Add spoonfuls of pesto, to taste, to make an extra-lemony dip.• Green. Blend in 1/2 cup fresh parsley, cilantro, or basil, or 1 cup cooked spinach.
Serves: 6
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time:40 minutes
1 1/4 cups dried chickpeas
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup tahini (light roast)
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, crushed
6 tablespoons ice cold water or thick yogurt
Salt
Good quality olive oil, to serve (optional)
The night before, put the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover them with cold water at least twice their volume. Leave to soak overnight or up to 2 days
The next day, drain the chickpeas. Place a medium saucepan over high heat and add the drained chickpeas and baking soda. Cook for about three minutes, stirring constantly. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cook, skimming off any foam and any skins that float to the surface. The chickpeas will need to cook for 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the type and freshness, sometimes even longer. Once done, they should be very tender, breaking up easily when pressed between your thumb and finger, almost but not quite mushy.
Drain the chickpeas. You should have roughly 3 2/3 cups now. Place the chickpeas in a food processor and process until you get a stiff paste. Then, with the machine sill running, add the tahini paste, lemon juice, garlic, and salt to taste.
Finally, slowly drizzle in the ice water and allow it to mix for about five minutes, until you get a very smooth and creamy paste.


Transfer the hummus to a bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap, and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. If not using straightaway, refrigerate until needed. Make sure to take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.
This hummus will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Chicken salad with couscous  Print Recipe


Serves: 6
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time:20 minutes
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped fine
1 green pepper, cut into small chunks
4 green onions, tops included, chopped
1 package (10 ounces) couscous, prepared according to package directions
Dressing: recipe follows
mint leaves for garnish

Dressing:
In blender or processor, place
1 large chopped garlic clove
1 chopped green onion
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard and 2 teaspoons sugar.

Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper; dredge in oil in pan to coat. Cook about 10 minutes on each side until chicken is fully cooked.
Remove chicken from pan and cut into bite-size pieces; place in large bowl. Add cucumber, chopped mint, green pepper and onions. Place prepared couscous in large bowl and fluff with fork. Add chicken mixture and stir gently.
Pour Dressing over all and toss gently to mix well. Garnish with mint leaves.

Dressing:
In blender or processor, place
1 large chopped garlic clove
1 chopped green onion
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard and 2 teaspoons sugar.

Process until blended, slowly adding
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil.

Chickpea-broccoli burgers  Print Recipe


Serves: 8
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time:40 minutes
½ cup couscous
1 cup water
1 ½ cups broccoli florets
2 tsp. olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas or 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 Tbs. toasted sesame tahini
¼ to ½ cup plain dry breadcrumbs
Salt to taste
In small saucepan, bring couscous and water to a boil; turn off heat, cover and let stand until liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1 cup couscous and save remaining for another use.
Meanwhile, steam broccoli until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from steamer and set aside to cool.
In medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in cumin. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 400F. Line large cookie sheet with foil, then dust with breadcrumbs.
In food processor or blender, combine couscous, broccoli, onions, chickpeas and tahini. Process until blended, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl when necessary. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Gradually add 1/4 cup bread crumbs. Add enough additional bread crumbs until mixture is stiff enough to form into patties but still moist. Season with salt.
Shape mixture into 3-inch patties (1/2-inch thick). Put patties on prepared cookie sheet. Bake until lightly browned on both sides about 30 minutes, turning once halfway. They can be served at this point or grilled or broiled until crispy for 1 or 2 minutes per side.

Dark apple spice cake  Print Recipe


Serves: 16
Preparation time: 35 minutes
Cooking time:1 hour 15 minutes
1 large egg plus
2 whites
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup canola oil plus extra for preparing pan
2 cups all purpose white flour
2/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
3 cups fresh apples, peeled
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Granulated or confectioners sugar for dusting cake (optional) Caramel Sauce. Recipe follows.

Caramel Sauce

Makes 1 1/2 cups

1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup evaporated skim milk
1 teaspoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush oil over the inside of a 10-inch bundt pan. Dust with flour and tap out the excess.
In a mixing bowl, whish together eggs, sugar and oil. In another bowl, stir together flours, cocoa, salt, cinnamon and allspice.
Using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon, add the dry ingredients to the oil mixture alternately with the grated apples. Dissolve baking soda 1/4 cup hot water and stir into the batter. Stir in the raisins and nuts. The batter will be thick.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour 10 minutes, or until the top springs back when touched lightly and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before unmolding from the pan. Let cool. Sprinkle with sugar or serve with caramel sauce.
Caramel sauce:
In small heavy-bottomed pot, combine sugar and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Cook, without stirring, for about 15 minutes, or until the syrup turns amber. (Take care not to burn it.)
Remove from heat and cool 2 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in butter. Gradually stir in milk. Return to the heat and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, or until caramel has dissolved. Stir in molasses and vanilla.
Serve warm. ( The sauce can be cooled, then stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Warm slightly before serving.)

Falafel  Print Recipe

These bite-sized balls of fried chickpeas (or fava beans) probably originated in Egypt, but are now claimed as a national dish in at least four Middle Eastern countries. Israel,Egypt,Palestine and Lebanon.

Canned chickpeas contain more moisture requiring additional flour.
The recipe is great as an appetizer or part of a Mideastern meal.
Serves: 4
Preparation time:20 minutes
Cooking time:20 minutes
1 cup dried chickpeas
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
4-6 tablespoons flour
Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
Chopped tomato for garnish
Diced onion for garnish
Diced green bell pepper for garnish
Tahina sauce
Pita bread
1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches Mix in 1 tsp baking soda and 1 T. salt. Let soak 10 to 12 hours then drain. Transfer chickpeas to a pot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Remove the foam that forms and simmer 10 minutes. chickpeas should be crisp and firm. Drain chickpeas.
2. Heat olive oil in a frying pan and add onions. Sir and cook for 5 to 8 minutes.
Place the drained chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
3. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
4. Form the chickpea mixture into 2 1/2-to-3-inch disks.
5. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 disk to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 disks at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Stuff half a pita with falafel disks, chopped tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and pickled turnips. Drizzle with tahina thinned with water.
NOTE: Egyptians omit the cilantro and substitute fava beans for the chickpeas.

Hazelnut Dukkah - the food booster  Print Recipe

Dukkah: The secret weapon that elevates the texture and flavors of food. It is a flavorful Middle Eastern spice blend made with fragrant spices and and toasted nuts.


Serves: 8
Preparation time:5 minutes
Cooking time:10 minutes
For Dukkah:

½ cup hazelnuts
3 tablespoon almonds
4 tablespoon white sesame seeds
3 tablespoon shelled pistachios
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
kosher salt
Place the hazelnuts and almonds in a dry cast iron pan without oil. Toast briefly over medium-high heat, tossing regularly, until the nuts turn a nice golden brown. Transfer to a side dish.
Place the sesame seeds in the same skillet and toast over medium heat, tossing regularly, until the sesame seeds turn golden brown.
Add the toasted nuts and sesame seeds to the bowl of a small food processor fitted with a blade. Add the pistachios, fennel seeds, spices, and a dash of salt. Pulse for a few seconds until you reach a nice coarse mixture. Do not over process. The mixture should not be too fine.
Transfer the dukkah to a bowl. You can store the dukkah in a tight-lid jar for up to 2 weeks. Use as a topping for salad, soup, chicken, meats, or roasted vegetables.

Kale tabbouleh  Print Recipe

Use bulgur wheat as the base for this Middle Eastern salad of supe rhealthy greens, feta cheese and spices
Serves: 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time:15 minutes
1 cup fine bulgur
1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves finely chopped (5 cups)
3 tablespoons mint, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 spring onions, sliced
½ cucumber, diced
4 tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of ground allspice
6 tbsp olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
100g feta cheese, crumbled
4 lettuce leaves separated, to serve
Cook bulgur according to package instructions. Cool.
Stir the kale, mint, spring onions, cucumber and tomatoes through the bulghar wheat. Season with the cinnamon and allspice, then dress with the olive oil and lemon juice to taste. Scatter over the feta. To serve, scoop the salad onto leaves of lettuce.
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