Egyptian Cuisine - a Heaven for Vegetarians!

Egyptian Market

Egyptian cuisine owes its beginnings to Ancient Egypt. It has retained its local culinary tastes and complemented them with those of Mediterranean cuisine.

Vegetables and Bean Dishes

Egyptian cuisine is a heaven for vegetarians, since it's based primarily on the consumption of vegetables. Eating plenty of rice, served with vegetables or meat is common. Bean dishes are also widely consumed.

One of the most commonly cooked dishes in Egypt is the national dish Kushari, which is a mixture of lentils, macaroni, rice and onions, with tomato or garlic sauce poured on top.

Kushari

To make it, boil the lentils, rice and macaroni in salted water, then strain them. Braise the onions, strain them from the oil. Use the oil strained from the onions to pour over the vegetables, mixed in the pot. Put the pot for 7-10 min. on the stove, while stirring, so the products don't stick. Divide the food up into servings, while pouring tomato or garlic sauce over each and arranging the braised onions on top.

Bread

Bread

No doubt, bread is the foundation of Egyptian cuisine. It's served with each and every dish. The Egyptian word for bread means life, making the central role that bread plays in Egyptian life quite self-explanatory.

The traditional pita Aish Baladi is used directly for scooping up sauces or is split down the middle and filled with hummus or kebab. The pitas are baked at an exceptionally high temperature, reaching 842°F (450 °C), the goal being to make the thinned out dough rise.

Spices

Spices are another cornerstone of the preparation of Egyptian dishes. They complement and enrich their taste. The ones used include bay leaf, rosemary, spearmint, onion powder, garlic, saffron, tarragon, ginger, cloves and many others.

Tea

Tea

Of particular reverence in Egypt is tea, called shai there. There are 2 ways of making tea, depending on which region you find yourself in. The black tea Koshary is prepared by traditional methods in Northern Egypt, where it is parboiled with boiled water, sweetened with beet sugar and flavored with spearmint leaves, often with milk as well.

In Southern Egypt, they make Saiidi tea by boiling it on high heat for 5 min. It is also served with beet sugar.

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