A few images from Egypt:
To begin with, this is Egyptian fast food, from the chain restaurant GAD (as in “e-GAD, this is good!”). Egyptian cuisine is heavily reliant on legumes, so most dishes resemble a vegetable or bean stew of one kind or another (such as the famous ful medames). Fresh pita bread comes with everything. It’s fun to watch people ride a motorbike while balancing a massive tray of freshly baked bread on their head.
Deep fried feta, also from GAD.
Sandwiches available from GAD. I was not brave enough to order that last one, to my eternal regret.
Mint tea is always required when cruising down the Nile.
Meze! Humous and tabouleh. I will never get sick of these foods.
You know how you always crave dolmades and when you get them they’re kind of boring? Well, Egyptians fry their dolmades. Dolmades are now perfect.
Did I mention the spices? Egyptians love spices. Some of the brightest smelling spices I have ever smelled. Makes me wonder how old that stuff is in the supermarket.
Another entertaining menu. I was on a mission for stuffed pigeon (or ‘crammed’ if you prefer).
Order a crammed pigeon, however, and that’s the cue for the restaurant to bring you out a feast. Whoops. And no, pigeon doesn’t taste like chicken. Well, not really. Okay, it tastes like chicken.
Camel stew. Boy, is camel good. It doesn’t taste like chicken either, more like a very tender and slightly gamey beef. I want some right now.
I can’t remember what this was but it was good too.
I can remember what this was because I wrote it down because I wanted to make it. Mulukhiyah soup, bright and green and delicious. Unfortunately, mulukhiyah turned out to be jute leaves, which are not readily available in this part of the world. Also starring: shwarma, deep fried cauliflower, more fried dolmades, and Heinz brand hot sauce. Tabasco has yet to hit the market in Egypt.
Beef and onion fiteer, aka Egyptian pizza. Kind of like bourek, which I used to live on in the Turkish district of Melbourne.
This humble-looking dish of pasta, chickpeas, cumin-infused tomato sauce and fried onions is koshari. In Egypt entire restaurants are dedicated to this dish – you just say small, medium or large (this is small). Koshari is sometimes called the national dish, and like all national dishes, there is no consensus at all as to how to make it. I thought it was going to be kind of bland, but it was probably the highlight of the trip. This restaurant served it with a little dish of hot sauce and a pitcher of vinegar on the side, which really made it. I’ve been experimenting at home, but have yet to perfect the recipe. Stay tuned.