These are the best traditional Egyptian food dishes that will take your taste buds on a culinary adventure to Egypt. Traditional Egyptian dishes are similar to other Mediterranean countries- using fresh vegetables, beans, and local ingredients.
Koshari is the national dish of Egypt and one of the most popular dishes in Egyptian cuisine. Egyptian koshari is a vegan recipe with brown lentil rice, spicy tomato sauce, pasta, and crispy onions. This delicious dish is layered and made slightly different in every home.
Ful medames is the famous fava bean dip typically served with pita bread and olive oil. The main ingredient is fava beans that are stewed on the stovetop for a long time. The beans are mixed with crushed garlic, chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, onion, tahini, lime juice, and ground cumin.
Minced Molokhia with Chicken
Minced molokhia and roasted chicken is one of the most popular Egyptian food dishes made at home. Molokhia, also known as jute in English, is made in different ways across the Middle East. In Egypt, molokhia is minced with a rocking knife (or food processor) and added to homemade chicken stock and fried garlic in ghee. Serve molokhia with roasted chicken and steamed white rice.
Tameya (Egyptian Falafel)
Fried tameya is the Egyptian equivalent of falafel. It's a popular street food served for breakfast in pita sandwiches alongside tahina, a tahini garlic yogurt sauce. Homemade tameya is made with soaked garbanzo beans, split fava beans, onion, parsley, cilantro, and spices. The mixture is pulsed together in a food processor, then fried in patty shapes with sesame seeds.
Hawawshi is ground beef (or ground lamb) stuffed pita bread baked in the oven. Minced meat is mixed with chopped green pepper, herbs, onion, tomato, garlic, tomato paste, cumin, coriander, and lemon juice. Use thick pita or baladi bread (aish baladi), and serve alongside torchy (pickled vegetables) and homemade french fries.
Mahshi crumb is rice stuffed cabbage leaves simmered in chicken broth or duck broth. The word mahshi means stuffed in Arabic, and there are different variations, such as stuffed squash (mahshi kousa), stuffed grape leaves, and stuffed pigeons (hamam mahshi). Serve mahshi for special occasions or family gatherings.
Atayef is a popular Ramadan dessert made of deep-fried stuffed pancakes and then drizzled with simple syrup. Stuff pancakes with crushed walnuts or shredded cheese.
Taro Root Stew (Kolkas)
Kolkas is a rich taro root stew made of green leafy vegetables, duck broth, taro root cubes, and fried garlic cloves. This delicious stew is served alongside rice.
Egyptian Spinach Stew
Egyptian spinach stew uses freshly chopped spinach leaves simmered in homemade tomato sauce. This vegan, gluten-free recipe has many health benefits because it's packed full of vegetables.
Bamia (Okra Stew)
Bamia means okra in Arabic, and this okra recipe has homemade tomato sauce and baby okra. Egyptian okra stew can be made in a few ways with or without meat. The recipe below makes this okra stew with tender oxtail.
Egyptian Refrigerator Pickles
Spicy Egyptian cucumber pickles are a quick refrigerator pickle recipe using Persian cucumbers, garlic, distilled white vinegar, sugar, salt, and chili pepper. These quick pickles take a few hours to make, and they are a great alternative to Middle Eastern pink pickled turnips that take a few days.
Renga (Smoked Herring Dip)
Renga, is smoked herring dip that's a popular recipe along coastal cities in Egypt. Serve this fish dip with homemade french fries, green onions, and freshly baked pita.
Mese'ah (Fried Eggplant in Tomato Sauce)
Mesa'ah is fried eggplant simmered in a spicy tomato sauce with chili peppers. Serve this recipe as a side dish alongside tameya, ful medames, and fried eggs.
More Delicious Egyptian Recipes
Egyptian cuisine offers a wide array of dishes beyond the ones mentioned in this post. The recipes provided here are just a glimpse into the culinary delights. More popular Egyptian food recipes are below.
Egyptian mint tea (shay bil nana). The most common drink in Egypt is hot black tea with fresh mint and sugar.
Bayd bil ashta (eggs fried in ashta cream). A delicious countryside breakfast is fried eggs in clotted cream (ashta). It's served with baladi bread (eish baladi) and
Fatayer is a homemade flaky Egyptian flatbread commonly made in the countryside. Serve with ashta and honey.
Hamam mahshi is rice stuffed pigeon that's deep-fried until golden brown. This delicacy is a traditional dish mostly served in homes.
Roz bel laban (rice pudding) is a mixture of rice, cream, sugar, and topped with ashta, shredded coconut, raisins, and crushed pistachios.
Umm ali. Umm Ali (also spelled om ali) literally means Ali's mother. It is a deliciously sweet and creamy bread pudding made with flaky bread (like puff pastry), nuts, dried fruit, cream, and sugar. Umm Ali is one of the most popular Egyptian desserts.
Enjoy exploring Egyptian food and the rich cultural heritage it represents! Bil henna wa shiffa (to your health)!