Show Mobile Navigation
 
Food

Top 10 Delicious and Unique Egyptian Foods

Not a lot of people know that Egypt is not only famous for its ancient monuments, culture and revolution, but it is also famous for its great food. Egyptian food is a mixture of all the different civilizations that came to Egypt in the history of its existence. Nowhere in the world will you be able to taste so many cultures in one plate. Below is a list of the most delicious and popular dishes served up in Egypt today.

10

Kushari

Koshari

Considered to be the Egyptian national dish, it consists of pasta and tomato sauce, among other items, including rice, lentils, caramelized onions, garlic and chickpeas. Having four sources of carbohydrates has made it the most popular lunch item in most common food outlets in Egypt for over 100 years. Interestingly enough, Kushari’s origins are not Egyptian at all, in fact it was a dish brought in by the British army in Egypt in the 19th century: the pasta was imported from Italy, the tomatoes are from Latin America and the rice from Asia, however the idea to mix them all together in one extremely delicious and vegetarian dish was conceived in Egypt.

9

Ful Medames

Egyptian%20Ful%20Mudamas

One of the common staple foods in Egypt, it consists of lava beans served with oil, garlic and lemon juice. Ful Medames can be traced to Pharaonic roots, and quantities have been found in the Twelfth dynasty. The word “Medames” is Coptic for “buried” which refers to the way it was initially cooked: in a pot buried in hot coal or sand. Ful Medames can be served with many embellishments such as butter, tomato sauce, tahini, fried or boiled eggs and pastrami. However, the most traditional method is to eat it plain and salted in an Egyptian bread bun. Nowadays, Ful Medames is exported to many Middle Eastern countries such as Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.


8

Fatta

1201-02-11

Considered a Nubian dish, fatta is usually prepared for festivities such as a woman’s first birth, and both Christian and Muslim holiday celebrations. It consists of layers of rice and fried bread, covered in a garlic and vinegar meat soup. Large chunks of stewed beef and deep-fried poached eggs are usually served along with the rice and bread base. As you can presume, Fatta is a really fattening dish, with an extremely high calorific value; it is rarely eaten during the year, except after a major religious fast such as the 50 days before Easter for Coptic Christians, or the month of Ramadan before Eid-Al-Futr.

7

Mulukhiya

740Px-Molokheya Hi Res

Mulukhiya is made from the leaves of jute and corchorus plants that grow in east and north Africa. In Egypt, Mulukhiya is prepared by chopping the leaves with garlic and coriander and cooking it in an animal stock such as chicken, beef or rabbit, and served with Egyptian bread or rice. Interestingly, different cities in Egypt prepare it in different ways, for example fish or shrimp are used as bases for the broth in coastal cities such as Alexandria and Port Said. During the late Tenth century, the dish was banned by the Fatimid Caliph Al Hakim Bi-Amr Allah, while the ban was lifted, religious sects such as the Druze still refuse to eat the dish in respect for the late Caliph.

6

Feseekh

1567759575 D393796304 B

Feseekh is a traditional Egyptian dish served only during the Sham-El-Nessim festival, which is a spring celebration with Pharaonic origins. It consists of fermented, salted and dried gray mullet. The process to prepare it, which involves drying the fish in the sun then salting it, is usually prepared by a specialized person called a fasakhani. Due to the way it is prepared, Feseekh can cause poisoning if it is prepared incorrectly. It is usually stored in thick glass jars that are firmly closed, as it has a very pungent smell. It is usually served with Egyptian bread, diced onions and lots of lemons.

5

Taro/Colcasia Soup

Colocasia Esculenta Dsc07801

Taro is a Southeast Asia native plant that was introduced to the Mediterranean parts of Egypt in ancient times. Taro, or Qilqas as it is known in Egypt, is usually prepared by peeling the taro tubers then boiling them and preparing them in a broth with lemon juice, garlic and coriander. After it is cooked, the taro is mashed and the whole preparation is served as a dip with Egyptian flat bread. Taro is cooked during the Coptic Christian celebrations of Epiphany, and the way it is prepared is supposed to resemble the baptism of Jesus.


4

Halawa

1305126425187

Halawa is a middle-eastern food common across all countries in the Mediterranean. Halawa is made from sesame paste and is available in all shapes and forms: blocks, hair Halawa, energy bars and spreads. It is sometimes infused with other types of food to add to its flavor, these include: pistachios, pine nuts and almonds. It is a common staple food among Egyptians and it is eaten as a snack or for breakfast and dinner. Halawa can be used as a main ingredient in many other dishes, among those is the Sakalans, which is mixture of Halawa, honey and whipped cream. Interestingly, Halawa is one of the few foods that can tolerate the hot Egyptian weather without going bad, and it doesn’t need any special storage conditions.

3

Dukkah

Dukkah

Dukkah is an Egyptian food commonly used as a dip and eaten along with Egyptian flatbread or raw vegetables, such as tomatoes or cucumber, as an hors d’oeuvre or side dish. It consists of a mixture of herbs, nuts and spices such as mint, salt, sesame, coriander and cumin. Dukkah is usually prepared at home and each family has a different twist to the recipe, but it is also sold at spice vendors in small paper cones. The name “Dukkah” is derived from the Arabic word “to pound” referring to how all the spices are pounded together to prepare the dish. Outside of Egypt, the dish is rarely known but it has found some popularity in Australia.


2

Konafah

Konafa456Mouz

Konafah is an Egyptian sweet made of a very thin noodle-like pastry. The origins of Konafah are very mysterious, its presence has been recorded in Arab medieval cookbooks in both Egypt and the Levant and Turkey, but its exact origins have always been unknown. Konafah is made by drizzling long rows of the thin noodles in their liquid state on a hot plate until they become dry and more rigid. The now-rigid noodles are then mixed with butter or oil and wrapped around a filling made out of nuts, whipped cream or both. It is baked and presented with a fruit syrup on top.

1

Gibna Domiati

1913851948 225A97A7Cd

Gibna Domiati is a white soft cheese made in the city of Damietta, in the north of Egypt. It is typically made from buffalo milk but sometimes cow milk is added to the mixture as well. It is the most common cheese found in Egypt and is incorporated into a lot of dishes, such as sambousak (fried thin pastry stuffed with cheese) or mesh (a tomato and cheese dip). Gibna Domiati is aged for a period of 1-3 years in large tin cans, before being eaten. Most Egyptian families take pride in the number of cans they have stored and for how long. In fact, it is said that the more the cheese is aged, the more delicious it becomes.



  • Big Word Joe

    These all look insidious

    • Dogbolter

      Nah, dukkah is fantastic. I live in Australia and thought it was a world-wide thing. We dip bread in gorgeous, fruity extra virgin olive oil, then dukkah. (Almost) food of the gods, especially with a fresh made mix, as opposed to one that’s sat on the supermarket shelf for a few months.

      • Nocturnesthesia

        Halvah and kushari are delicious, haven’t tried most of the other ones (not a fan of the cheese though).

  • odin

    Never ate Egyptian but love Lebanese food

  • Stu Miller’s Gust

    Ironically, none of these dishes are part of the USDA food pyramid ;)

  • kaf977

    woaaa comment number 5!!
    great!
    ooo by the way i love this lists :)

  • Jono

    Lava beans… I guess that would take care of my RDI of molten rock.

  • Stu Miller’s Gust

    Knock Knock!

    Who’s There?

    Halawa

    Halawa who?

    WAHOO!

    • rajimuss

      best joke ever!

  • Christine Vrey

    I LOVE food lists!!! Its nice to have one that isn’t about Korean food too (no offence Jamie). Number 2 looks super yummy =) Thank you for a great list!

  • Banky

    Whats a nubian?

    • Christine Vrey

      A Nubian is from Nubia, which is south of Egypt and North of Sudan…. No need to open an Atlas, Google works just fine =/

    • TS Quint

      Don’t worry. I got the reference.

      • ringtailroxy

        A Nubian is also a breed of milk goat…

  • chela

    there’s South asian variety of Halawa, called Aluwa. the writer should have added recipe links. (i wanna try #10) :D

  • Stu Miller’s Gust

    All the Nubians with their goats

    The Quaker boys and their oats

    Chinese cooks know (Oh-Way-Oh)

    They wok like the Egyptians

    • Brian

      You, sir, have made my day.

  • Natalie

    kinafeh!! i love it!!!! I’m from Jordan so i ate some of the items on the list. someone should make a list of Jordanian foods! they are delicious! i promise

  • trollolol

    Halawa is indian

    • Bob

      According to Indians everything ever created is Indian.

      • Annie

        It really is an Indian sweet… :/

  • Simplifried

    Great list. Item #4, labeled here as “Halawa” is pretty much ubiquitous throughout the east, from Burma to Russia, and including all of the eastern European countries, and all of the Mediterranean contries from Greece, eastward, aas well as many North African countries as well. The base ingredients used can vary with the results being a huge variety of this convenient food. Base ingredients can be durham wheat, or one of many different nut butters, including sunflower seeds, almonds, etc. The range of different inclusions is nearly endless, except that it does not include meat. In New York you can find many different variations on the shelves of small ethnic bakeries or delis. Really fantastic.

  • Lisa Marie

    I have had Halawa already, it is quite delicious, especially with the pistachios. I would like to taste Gibna Domiati, Fatta and Kushari. The salted fermented fish does not appeal to me.

  • Canuovea

    Nice list. I’ll try to check these out if I get a chance… in fact I’m going to bookmark this page I think…

    Also, I love “Halva” as I call it.

    • Ladymarozia

      I love halva as well. My grandmother used to make it and it was wonderful.
      I’ve also had fatta as well. Never tried dukkah though. Have to try it. Sounds
      delicious.

  • zan

    We have something similar in the region where i am from in South Africa. It is called “bokkoms” and is also salted and sun dried. It is a small little silver fish (about 3- 4 inches), I believe the name we use for it is harder and a line is threaded through their eyes (about 5-8 of them at once) before they are hung to dry after salting. It is available all year round and quite delicious. It is also said that if you eat a bokkom before going out to party, you wont get intoxicated as easily. I have tried this and it worked! The cheese on the list looks delicious and so does halawa. Happy eating :)

  • oouchan

    I would love to try a few of these, especially number one. I love cheese. :)

    Neat list.

  • RJ Crow

    Konafah is one of the best sweets i have ever eaten!

    if you haven’t tried it you really should.

  • aargume1

    #2 looks delicious

  • NedNoodle

    They don’t look mouth-watering that’s for sure.

    • mom424

      I disagree – the pistachio nut bar thingies look yummy, the stew looks mmm, the soup looks much like watercress, the cheese looks like feta or marscarpone or ricotta. The dessert looks very similar to Greek Desserts I’ve had. The only thing that looks ick is the fish. And North Americans eat both smoked salmon and kippers. And they’re pretty vile too, imo.

  • skeeter

    I was thinking the same thing!

  • mom424

    Your food looks wonderful (the fish? not so much). I’m very adventurous when it comes trying new things – new food related things – and I’ve not been disappointed too often. I have to admit though, I’m not particularly fond of middle eastern food. Too many aromatics used as flavorings. Nothing worse than biting into an awesome looking sausage stuffed in grape leaves and having it taste like a car air freshener. Juniper is not a taste – it’s a smell. Same with rose water, cardamom, and a few others. I noticed the same thing with Sudanese food, well the desserts anyway. (The snacks were hot as hades, but tasty, never tried any main courses)

    Do Egyptians use the same flavorings as other North African countries? the Middle East?

    PS: Fata looks much like the Couscous dinner (usually with shanks) that a Moroccan friend of mine makes….it’s pretty awesome.

  • I adore the food lists! Sometimes I get so tired of the same types of food and these lists make me want to branch out more. Even some of the less appetizing items on the list would be worth a taste to try something different.

  • bigski

    good looking food….need recipies.

  • A hazel wall of coco.

    I had konafah once when in Sharm El Sheik, the chef assured me that there was no nuts in it, because I asked due to my nut allergy. One very uncomfortable night later and I truly despise all Egyptian food. Sounds harsh, but if you don’t have a nut allergy then try to understand how we have to be very critical of the food we eat, and now I really don’t trust the stuff…

  • frenemy

    I think a list about middle eastern dishes should be made because we have the same dishes with slight differences. And if you like Gibna Domiati you’ll love Saudi Feta and the many more middle eastern cheeses.

  • JWynter

    Fattah is delicious, I have an Egyptian friend who always makes it around Christmas time.

  • Christine

    As a reader from the website for a long time , I have to give my opinions and I’ve already see such great lists I always thanks the guy who post for the great list ,but serious this list was lame , my opinion..

  • Ponko

    What is this bullshit!!!

  • SomeDude

    Ful is eritrean….

  • Abed

    I gotta say….some entries are missing, and I’m not entirely sure all the listed food are Egyptian because some entries are common throughout the middle east. But all in all good list and funnily enough I’m eating halawa for dinner ATM :P

  • Hestie

    Everything sounds delicious! Great list!!

  • Gabs

    Guys, take my word for it. Number 7- Mulukhiya- is the most beautiful soup you will ever taste.

  • Anonymous

    I am Egyptian and i approve of this, cool list.

  • pogmothion64

    I LOVE this list…..LOVE this type of food and eat it frequently. However, I just have to say that I got a kick out of the typo telling how Ful Medames
    is made with “LAVA” beans instead of “FAVA” beans. LOL Now THAT would be some explosive methane action!!! Bwahahaha

  • Dan

    I agree

  • oqo

    Anything egyptian are worst! Because those stupid people are the worst arab race in the world. Even other arab from other nation know the fact. Worst arab! Can’t wait america pound them to pieces! I might sound with personal grudge with egyptian, but its the truth! The azzhole of arab world. I know, because most of my life I’m living with arab

    • Mark

      You are just an idiot…. Go fuck yourself racist! Oh may be you dont know how to do that.

      • hahaha!

        lmao… thats why Egyptians are known in the middle east as the worst type of arab or the Azzholes of arab worlds because THEY ARE RACIST! if you are Egyptian, then fuuucccckkk yourself… Why not tour the middle East… ASK anyone who they think are the WORST TYPE of ARAB RACE… one answer ! EGYPTIANS! ask the other races who lives in Middle East or Work in middle east! WHO ARE the AZZHOLES in The Arab worlds… ONE Answer .. EGYPTIANS! because they are RACIST… thinking They are Way ahead of others….. and they smell bad lmaoo!….

        • hahaha again

          ITS THE TRUTH! …. I challenge everyone who think Im the racist here…. COME TO MIDDLE EAST!….. ASK EVERYONE! Im saying EVERY ONE!,,, Qatari, Omani, Syrian, Lebanese, Baharaini , Saudian, Africans, Pakistani, Indians, Philippini, Bangladesse, Nepalese, Chinese, Afghans, and Sri lankans,, WHICH Type of Arab people are Worst… ONE ANSWER : EGYPTIAN… … THATS A CHALLENGE…you can even ask people online … Truth Hurts!

        • abc123

          You know you’re the racist, if arabs hate Egypt it’s because we made peace with the jews because that’s our nature. So the problem is people like you who can’t make peace with the jews due to racism and hate. Hate us or love us we still number 1. We can’t be that racist if we have many Mediterraneans/Arabs/Africans all living in Egypt for many years. We really don’t care what you think, because Egypt made it without you haters. Remember who brings in more tourist in their country, because we have plenty to see & welcome all foreigners unlike some other racist people. Btw so many want to claim this is not Egyptian food but i can say honestly many of our foods have been dated back in ancient times, some can be viewed at our museums. Many countries have taken our ideas & added a few different ingredients, however the original taste best, Egyptian food use less of rose water that takes over the flavour & don’t over do it with certain ingredients that can ruin it. What happened to falafel original name from the Coptics (Tamiya) dated back during pharaonic period???

  • kman5554

    Great list, but I think its fava beans not lava beans for the Ful Medames.

  • flay swelter

    Oh, tasty! I’m just about to eat smoked mackerel done with a cream sauce, fried potatoes with rosemary and broccoli.

    Yum Yum.

  • flay swelter

    They all look delicious to me.

  • Jimmy Johnson

    The best dishes come from very limited, even cast-off ingredients.

    My mom makes a type of taro root “cake’. When pan fried, it’s like nothing else I can comare it to.

  • Liz

    Wow wow wait a minute! Knafeh is not Egyptian! Its origins are from the Levant.

  • Dogbolter

    Deep-fried poached eggs? Blergh…

    Some recipes would be nice though. Otherwise, an interesting list.

  • NettieFBaby

    I’ve eaten #9, #7 and #2. The monafah #2 is so good is you microwave it for 20 seconds because it has a layer of cheese under it thats so good when its gooey…yay for living close to Dearborn…

  • Toasty

    Most of these dishes aren’t just Egyptian but are local for all of the middle east :/
    Maybe you should fix that

  • Filarab

    Not everything in this list are unique to Egypt… Some of them can be found in most Arab countries(if I’m not mistaken) but still, it cannot be called “unique” to Egypt only. But i love mediterranean food. :)

  • jo

    A nubian is also known as a new race born in the 21st century. Early specimens where called noobs but they soon grew their own culture and race. Known today as the nubians and individually as a nubian. In refference: he does not know what he is doing since he is a nubian.

  • KH

    WHAT AN INTERESTING LIST … (COUGH COUGH)

  • carlos

    i heard that Mulukhiya was delicious. but were would i find the jute leaves? anyone know

  • I love Egyptian Food! Great list!! Looks very good–

    Casey Mahoney Brad P

  • Bakdunis

    Having lived in Egypt for a few years, I can say all of these things taste wonderful. Well… aside from some incarnations of mulukhiya. That stuff can get rather bitter.

  • vermilionskin

    Yumyum!!

  • AmirFan

    Some of these sounded delicious when I read your well-written descriptions, Amir Atiatalla. Last night I actually cooked Kushari with the help of Google (anchovies instead of chickpeas), and I can’t believe how nice it was.

    Thanks for a great list! I love how after reading this it’s very clear what a melting pot Egyptian cuisine is!

  • Tatenda

    they look very nice to eat and i would love to try some of them

  • lashanate

    stop putting this shxt on here tht is not easy to draw

  • ….

    Ful and halwa? I didn’t know they were egyptain! We have both stocked up since for iftar… Good to know, I thought it was from Saudi Arabia!

  • saba

    Excellent specially halwa n Pakistan n Eygpt r d ever best friends n brother countries,ur cusine reflects d true Islamic culture n do try Pakistani cusine,halwa,biryani,pulao,kebabs,qaurma,siwayian,etc,all mouth watering asian cusine.thnx 4 sharing these yummmmmmyyy pics.

  • swagger 3221

    U made this is a nasty place to look at