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Egyptian cuisine dates back thousands of years and much of the food that was served in ancient Egypt still forms part of the country’s diet today. Over time, this nation’s food has been influenced by neighboring countries including Greece, Turkey, Iraq and even Italy making for a diverse range of dishes with something guaranteed to appeal to your taste.
Thanks to the predominance of lentils, rice, beans and fish in the diet, there are plenty of healthy and delicious foods in Egypt that can be enjoyed while you’re on your holidays in this beautiful country.
The National Dish
Koshari is enjoyed throughout Egypt and it’s an inexpensive, healthy but filling option that can be found in the country’s restaurants and cafes as well as sold by roadside vendors. Italian and Latin American influences can be found throughout this dish in ingredients such as the pasta and tomato sauce. The dish also includes lentils, garlic, caramelized onions and chickpeas. Koshari is very popular as an energy-giving lunchtime snack and you can easily sample this hearty, healthy meal wherever you are in the country.
Since Egypt’s northern coastline sits on the Mediterranean Sea you can expect to find plenty of fresh seafood dishes in the resorts of Alexandria, Port Said and El Alamein. Sea bass fish kebabs with peppers, pineapples and onions will get the juices flowing, while the fish kofta consisting of poached fish, potatoes and egg is a great low fat, low carb option. If you don’t fancy the fish then try out the vegetarian option called mahshi, which is green peppers, tomatoes or aubergines stuffed with herb and spice seasoned rice and topped with a lemon and tomato sauce. Thanks to an abundance of bananas, mangoes and apples in this part of the country you can wash down your meal with an energy-boosting, freshly squeezed fruit and yoghurt drink; these drinks are ubiquitous across cities such as Cairo and are inexpensive.
The Vegetarian Option
The Egyptian falafel or tamiya is one of the most popular street foods sold throughout the country and it’s a vegetarian favorite. The recipe will vary depending on the region you’re visiting and although this mezze platter option consists of deep-fried chickpea and herb balls it’s rich in proteins and soluble fibers. This dish can be served as a quick sandwich with hummus-topped pita bread or may be placed on a dish with salad. Many Egyptians do eat this as a breakfast meal but you’ll find it served by street vendors to be enjoyed throughout the day.
These are just a few of the most popular Egyptian dishes but there are also plenty of healthy vegetable soups, Egyptian chicken salads and moussakas available. Don’t be afraid to ask you waiter for vegetarian options that may not be on the menu and remember that the street-food in this country is just as delicious as those prepared in the restaurants.