14 Favorite Egyptian Recipes for the Mediterranean-Inspired Diet
When you're thinking about delicious foods to enjoy on a Mediterranean-inspired diet, don't sleep on Egyptian cuisine. After all, the food traditions of Egypt stretch back to the time of the pharaohs. That's about 5,000 years worth of cooking experience, of welcoming in new ingredients and traditions (Greek, Roman, Arab, and more), of refining and perfecting preparations and recipes. The result? Well, give these top-rated Egyptian recipes a try, and see for yourself. We've got favorites like koshari, kofta, cauliflower, okra stew, and much more.
"Okra, called bamya in Egyptian Arabic, is a popular vegetable in Egypt," says Olaahmed. "It is either prepared as a stew with meat or as a simple vegetable side dish, like in this recipe, where frozen okra is used."
Egyptian Ta'ameya (Falafel)
"In most parts of the Middle East, falafel is made with ground chickpeas. However, in Egypt, we make it with dried fava beans," says Gamila Salem. "Falafel, or ta'ameya as we call it in Egypt, is an all-time favorite street food. They are best served with pita bread, tomato, onions, and tahini sauce."
Koshari combines cooked lentils, rice, and pasta, topped with a spicy tomato sauce, flavored with garlic vinegar and hot sauce. "This is a typical Egyptian dish that is very good and cheap," says Liz York. "Puree the sauce in a food processor if you like a smoother texture."
These quick and easy Egyptian meatballs are made with ground beef, leeks, and eggs. "A favorite recipe from my mother-in-law. Serve over couscous with sour cream," says Marie Angel Cat.
Fried Cauliflower (Egyptian Style)
Florets of cauliflower are lightly battered and fried. "The smaller the florets the crispier and yummier!" says Marmar. "To get even crispier florets, add a couple of teaspoons cornmeal to the batter."
Dukkah is an Egyptian blend of roasted nuts (hazelnuts or chickpeas), seeds, and coriander and cumin. "An Egyptian spice blend that is wonderful. The more you eat it the more addictive it becomes," says rosichops. "Serve with toasted crusty bread (Turkish bread is great for this), and olive oil. Dip bread into olive oil, then into the hazelnut mixture and enjoy this unique and addictive mix."
Fava Beans in Tahini Sauce
In this simple recipe, fava beans are cooked with onions and garlic in a thick tahini sauce. Stuff your tasty mixture into a pita, add a dollop of plain yogurt, and enjoy! "A delicious recipe I learned from an Egyptian friend," says MYSTICALRIVER. "If you don't want a strong garlic taste, feel free to cook the garlic with the onion."
Egyptian Lahma Bil Basal (Beef in Rich Onion Sauce)
The onions in this Egyptian dish cook down to a thick, rich sauce. "When finished, you should have super tender beef with a thick oniony sauce. Very popular, simple dish made in Egyptian households," says chaka. "Once you make it, it will become a favorite for sure."
Dukkah Chicken Cutlets and Eggs
"Dukkah is an Egyptian condiment made of toasted nuts and seeds. It usually contains roasted hazelnuts or chickpeas as the foundation, and is seasoned with coriander and cumin," says Juliana Hale. "Add dukkah to chicken and eggs for a hint of crunch and smoky, nutty flavor.
Egyptian Green Beans with Carrots
In this traditional Egyptian side dish, green beans and carrots simmer in a cardamom-scented broth. "This is a delicious, easy, and quick recipe. Children love it. Best served with plain white rice and roasted or grilled chicken. It reminds me of my childhood as my mother use to make it for us. My mam took this recipe from my grandmother. It's a traditional Egyptian dish. The best part is that it is an all year recipe."
Bamya Bil Lahme (Egyptian Okra Meat Stew)
"Bamya bil lahme originated in Egypt thousands of years ago," says Gamila Salem. "It is made with lamb or beef. This is the recipe as taught to me by my Egyptian mother-in-law while I was living in Egypt. This recipe is a one-pot recipe, making it quicker and easier to prepare than other stove-to-oven methods. Serve with Egyptian or other short-grain rice."
"This Egyptian dessert contains phyllo dough or puff pastry, milk, and nuts. Use any kind of nuts that you would like and eat it with a spoon," says NANCY GIRGIS. "Legend has it that Om Ali was the first wife of the sultan Ezz El Din Aybek. When the sultan died, his second wife had a dispute with Om Ali, resulting in the second wife's death. To celebrate, Om Ali made this dessert and distributed it among the people of the land."
Here's an Egyptian-inspired take on kofta, the grilled ground beef dish that's popular throughout the Middle East. "This is a wonderful and simple version I picked up in Egypt," says DOSTANDEN. A great accompaniment is saffron rice."
The Perfect Egyptian Rice with Vermicelli
"Egyptian rice is a very short grain rice," says Gamila Salem. "It is not cooked the same way as medium or long grain rice. When cooked, it is supposed to have a fluffy texture, not at all sticky."