Recipes by Ethnicity: African Recipes
Costa Rican Recipes
Middle Eastern Recipes
United States Recipes
Bamya - Meat Stew
Egypt Meat Soup
Like any crossroads culture, Egyptian cuisine has picked and chosen those ingredients and food that grow best as well as best meet the flavor and nutritional needs of their people. Bridging Africa and Asia as it does, Egypt has a lot from which to choose.
The shish kabob style is extremely popular and is served either with or without the skewers but always with traditional accompaniments: greens and tomato salad, tahini sauce and pita bread. So you can stuff your own sandwich if you want. Bread is always whole wheat pita, coated with coarse ground wheat, round, fragrant and sheer heaven when hot from the oven. Often pita plus a dipping sauce, tahini, hummus or babaganoush, makes a fast food meal and a healthy, delicious one at that.
Of course, when you think "Orient" you think spices. Egyptian bazaars display staggering amounts, sculptured into colorful spice pyramids, from yellows of saffron and ochres of curries to deep blues of powdered indigo dye. Food is usually spices but not spicy. Cumin and salt are found on restaurant tables.
Middle Eastern desserts are nothing special; they do bake but, to the Western taste, figs, date and nut fillings in largely unsweetened dough isn't a dessert. Better to eat the fresh figs, dates (of which there must be 200 different types and grades), oranges and pomegranates without baked modifications. Speaking of fruit, juice bars abound in the streets and fresh squeezed oranges sweetened with cut sugar cane is heaven in a hot climate.