Egyptian Food & Drinks

- Here is our favorite funny part of Customs and traditions of the Egyptian, funny because sometimes food become a joke in their life, it happened before that the mad Fatimid Caliph, al-Hakim bi Amrillah ruler in year 909 prevent Egyptian from eating their beloved Molokheya with rabbits dishes "?????? ????????", among many other irrational things that he banned, strange that in some area of Egypt still many Egyptians are boycotting the rabbits & do not eat it as "Haram" in Shiite Islam.
Ref.; Molokheya with chicken (English) from Egyptian Cuisine Recipes web site.
1-Egyptian cocking & Eating Habits 
For Muslims as a religious ordered we must remember God before and after eating, Arabs in general like to eat in a group. The family relation become stronger through gathering for food as they speak to each other, laugh, and make fun, some traditional dishes are served in a large plate so members of the family make a circle and eat together from it.Islam, does not ask people to eat together, but it is preferable to do so. Islam teaches us; Do not sit for food unless you are hungry; and do not leave the table but you still have an appetite for it, and chew your food in your mouth well. Islam also asks us to wash our hands before eating. Saying bismillah (In the name of Allah "God") is obligatory. That means a Muslim must always ask God for his permission. A Muslim should eat with their right hand. When finishing eating, we should thank God by saying El hamdou lillah. Ancients and Arabs usually sit on the floor, or sometime having a small low table.
Like any crossroads culture, Egyptian cuisine has picked and chosen the best of every cultural they have met before, Egyptian used to grill Birds and fish, Pigeon and quail can also be eaten stuffed with fereek (rubbed green wheat) or Rice, Big size birds such as poultry, geese and ducks are usually boiled then roasted.
2- Bread and Cereal Food in Egyptian life;
Egyptians say "EAISH" in Arabic referring to Bread, same time it means life it self, so if we said The French count more than 365 species cheese in their country, so that Egyptian count same numbers of breads in shape and test, that mean you can to eat every day new kind of French cheese, with new fresh Egyptian bread. For Egyptian Cereal foods formed the main backbone of their diet, Bread was made by mixing the dough, including other Cereal, Yeast, spices, salt, milk and sometimes butter and eggs Into various shapes. Sometimes cooked in open fires, or by the sun heat in Upper Egypt, or on bread-moulds like Iraqi Bread now, or even the still used today bread ovens with a firebox at the bottom, a grating and domed, upper compartment which was open at the top were bread or other food put in. Villager's yummiest roasted vegetables in these Ovens are eggplant. Yet bread was often sweetened with butter & honey or dates, or flavored with sesame, aniseed or Jam.
3- Egyptians  Mr. Bean
Ancient Egyptians know several kinds of Legumes, they also know the best way to cock it and the delicious ways to serve, they recommended Beans as low in fat and loaded with nutrients, They used to change the water from time to time while you're soaking or cooking the beans. As they said pouring off the water helps gets rid of the indigestible complex sugars that create gas in our intestine. It also helps to cook the beans thoroughly, until they can be easily mashed with a fork. They add all kind of flavor to it, including sesame jam"Tehina", cinnamon, coriander, cumin, and even garlic and tomato.
The number one on Egyptian table is called Egyptian brown beans, or in Arabic "foul-fool", this kind of fava bean =or horse bean strongly flavored beans have been around for ages, the real food of the real people. To eat "real," you have to eat "street food", foul will change you to be Egyptian Mr. Bean.
- Same as foul ta’ameyya or falafel come from mature beans after being peeled to rid them of a waxy skin that surrounds each bean. The best way to do this is to blanch the shelled beans for a minute in boiling water, then plunge them into cold water, and then pull off, and then mix them with some other vegetables, onion, sometimes eggs, then deep-frying as it was a habit from less than 200 years old.
- Same as foul sale on the street but salted is "Termiss Bean" lima bean or butter bean or Madagascar bean The most popular varieties are small lima bean and the larger Ford hooks. lima beans are harder to digest than other beans. So it stays in water 48H with 3 or four times changing water then add salt rise on fire for 1 h.
- "ADDSS" Yellow & Brown Lens exculenta or Egyptian local Lentil, Egyptian said it makes men hearts become tenderer, generally Egyptian like to eat it mixed 2/1 with rice, or mixed in winter season famous lintel soup, it is the best thing for kids for their growing teeth.
- other Egyptian widely consumed beans kinds are; great Northern beans or flageolet, Red bean or bayo bean, white kidney bean or fasolia bean (Green and dried); pinto bean or rattlesnake bean or red kidney bean, crab eye bean, lablab bean or hyacinth bean (few who eat it) or Egyptian bean or Fuji mame, pinto bean, small red bean or Mexican red bean, rice bean & lentils don't require soaking and cooked in just 15 minutes.
4- Egyptians are Salt & Sugar Lover
Nothing but say Egyptian are crazy about the extreme opposite tastes but never mixed them together, they eat salty as death cheese called "Mesh", and fatty extreme sweet jam or mixed stuff like something name "Meffattaa", Sugar itself does not appear in the Egyptian diet until late in history, though honey was Used by the rich for a sweetener, but was probably expensive for the majority.Common people used various fruits as sweeteners, salt is must in Egyptian table. Salt, cumin and coriander seeds have been the main seasoning agents since ancient times, in pharaoh's time sea salt, because of its connection to the evil Seth, was not consumed much as local salt from Siwa Oasis. Strange that Egyptians are not lovers of hot chili peppers like western or their southern neighbors. But crazy when it comes to salted fish or salted saved vegetables, only few steps in Aswan or Luxor main streets and you could find shops sale numerous salty fish, Egyptians tend to consume more salt during the summer through eating old white cheese, olives, pickled vegetables, and salted fish. 
5-Famous Modern Egyptian Menus
Of course, when you think "Oriental" you think spices. Egyptian food first smells good as a first priority, tastes good then looks good, Egyptian shops display several amounts, and colorful spices shape like pyramids, from saffron yellow to powdered indigo dye deep blue " sure not for cocking", Food is usually with added spices but not spicy. Here are menu contents offered by most restaurant in Egypt;
-Egyptian Soups menu:-
1- Lesan Asfour Soup (????? ???? ?????
2- Italian Cream of Tomato Soup (????? ?????)
3- Pigeon Soup (????? ????)
4- Sea Food Soup (????? ????? ?????)
5- Lamb Leg Soup (????? ?????)
6- Vegetable Lamb Soup (????? ???? ???)
7- Onion Soup (????? ???)
8- Corn Soup (????? ???)
9- Chicken Soup (????? ????)
10- Mushroom Soup (????? ?????)
11- Molokhiya Soup (???????) - Egyptian Green paper Soup
-Egyptian Salads menu;
- Tehina Salad (???? ?????)
- Baba Ghannoug eggplant salad (???? ???? ????) roasted eggplant dip, sometimes in another way it comes spicy eggplant with garlic.
- Green local Oriental Salad (???? ????)
- Pickles (??????)
- Egyptian Bean Salad - green bean and black-eyed peas
- Yogurt garlic Salad with cucumber and mint (???? ????? ??????? ? ???????)
- Potato Salad (???? ?????)
- Beet Salad (???? ????)
- Fattoush Lebanon salad (???? ?????) Pita crisps, tomato, cucumber, onion, lemon, parsley, radish
- Tabboula Lebanon salad (?????) salad made with bulgur wheat and finely chopped scallions, tomatoes, mint, and parsley that is eaten with lettuce leaves
- Tomeyya garlic with bean or yogurt salad, olive oil (?????)
 Humus alone or with minced meat - smooth thick mixture of mashed chickpeas, tahini, oil, lemon
- Sambosik triangle shape – (??????) fried pastries filled with meat, cheese or spinach with zaátr
- Kebab or Kebba Balls (??????)– potato balls stuffed with meat and almonds
- "Mahshy Wara-Enab" –(???? ??? ???)fresh boiled grape leaves stuffed with long-grain rice, herbs & onion
- Egyptian Main Courses;
- Bamya - meat (lamb or beef) and okra stew
- Egyptian Moussaka - layers of vegetables (aubergines, corrugates, potatoes) alternating
- Molokiya also consider as main dish as well as it is soup w/Chicken, or shrimp or with rabbit.
- Samak al-Bolty or Boory "milk fish" roasted on "b’Reda" (grilled Tilapia w/flour) or roasted with oil specially in Alexandria
- White rice / Rice with beef and cinnamon
- Chicken Shawerma with rice or with Fattah with yogurt
- Mixed stuffed vegetables
- Penne or macaroni with Napolitan Sauce
- Grilled Vegetables / Meshed Potatoes.
- Kushari (Egyptian Arabic: ????), also translated as koshary, now it is one of most popular, inexpensive dishes in Egypt, and many restaurants specialize in this one dish. kosheri also is one of favorite and suitable for vegetarian dishes or orthodox diet of coptic christians during lent , similar to the Indian Khichri which is also made with rice and lentils similar dishes of the Caribbean such as Hoppin' John, content of Mixed rice, brown lentils, at least 2 kinds of macaroni, chick peas, grilled onion & sauce Egyptian also like to add garlic and vinegar and spicy tomato sauce.
- Kebab & Kofta or shish kabab, Lamb Kebabs, or only Kofta; balls of minced or ground lamb mixed with spices, onions and skewered
- Chicken small grilled pieces name "shish taouk"
- Grilled chicken Marinated with spices, served in pita halves with Garlic or onion sauce, tomato and lettuce.
- Stuffed or grilled pigeon "Hamam Mahshi" – (Cornish hens may be used instead of rice with onion)
- Rotisserie chicken name in Arabic (Firakh Mashwya)
- Egyptian Meats are largely grilled or roasted, whole or minced Like "Grilled Kofta", with lamb and chicken predominating. The shish kabob style is most popular and is served either with or without the skewers but always with traditional accompaniments: greens and tomato salad, come with other appetizers like "tahini sauce "; dip made from sesame seed, sand pita bread. So you can stuff your own sandwich if you want. Bread is always whole wheat pita, Hummus - A smooth thick mixture of mashed chickpeas, tahini, and oil, garlic, used especially as a dip for pita.
Egyptian restaurants also do Tuna salad, "eggplant" baba '3anoug salad, or in another way named mesa2a3a, besella, bamia "Okra", Batt in Arabic mean (ducks), Fatet Kawarea mean caw legs soup, pigeons "Hamam Mahshy", grill liver "Kebda Eskandrani".
-Oriental Egyptian pizza or local pie called "fetteer"In every district, here you could find a shop selling something named fetteer, which is a simple look like pizza, but thinner than pizza, and all Stuffed inside or over the pie, mostly with a lot of added  butter, sometimes comes sweet with sugar or honey, sometimes with Tuna fish, you must try your favorite flavor, the best to add some "Za’atar" with cheese, herbs, or oregano, and savory families make it delicious. It is the famous in Middle Eastern countries, As with many centuries-old dishes.
*** For more all yummy Egyptian food ... enjoy Makarona Bashameel (penna with Beshamel), 'om Ali, or traditional Egyptian food menu if having party (3ozoma) and want to cock home made Egyptian food, or just want to know more about Egyptian traditional food please see this link; 
6-Egyptians traditional snack food
- Green chick peas (malana)
- Roasted germinated fava beans (salted foul meqeli)
- Green fava beans or green Horse beans (foul herati)
- Boiled chick peas (Homos- or Halabisa as kids used to call it)
- Tubers (habb el Aziz)
- Roasted chick peas (Small Homos sale in Nuts shops)
- Germinated fava beans (foul Nabet)
- Lupine (soaked and boiled)
- Sprouted fenugreek seeds (Helba Nabit)
- Roasted peanuts
- Romaine
- Tiger nuts (Hab Al- Aziz)
- Egyptian red carrots (sweet Gazaar Ahmer)
- Lettuce; from ancient temples wall scene considered as Plant, which gives the Kings the fertility (Khass)
- Grains and seeds
- Popped corn; sales on corners of streets this maize name (Feshhaar)
- Grilled fresh corn on the cob (Dorra Mashwy)
- Roasted pumpkin seeds (Leb super)
- Roasted melon seeds (Leb Asmer)
Egyptian snack Fruits
- Christ thorn (nabq)
- Jojoba (ennab)
- Golden berry (harankash)
- Dom palm fruit (Dom)
- Sycamore fig (Gimeez)
- Prickly pear (Komethra)
7- Egypt Traditional non-alcoholic drinks
Recommended that you enjoy a while on coffee shops in Old Cairo or on front of Upper Egypt temples or by the sea smoke Shisha "Nargile" feel like Egyptian sure don't forget to order one of these drinks, which is rare presence in other places but in Egypt.
Hot Serve drinks (must add sugar like Egyptian do);
Tea "Black Ceylon Tea, or Kenyan Tea"
Coffee; usually came from Yemen or Brazil now, Egyptian used to drink it Turkish Style.
Ginger; sometimes mixed with milk.
Cumin seeds
Mint leaves
Aniseed (Yansson)
Fennel seeds (Shammer)
Fenugreek seeds (Helbba), could mixed with milk
Caraway seeds
Cold served drinks; 
Carob (kharrub)
Licorice drinks (erq’soos)
Hibiscus-Red sorrel (karkadeh)
Dom-Hyphaene thebaica
Juice (freshly pressed)
Sugar cane; especially fresh in Upper Egypt, it maybe Egypt the only country in world that has shops only to sale cold fresh Sugar Cane.
Egyptian Mixed drinks & Composite recipes;
Sahlab; " Orchis latifolia ", Sahlab is a milk drink mixed with ground orchis root as the main ingredient, is a pre-packaged drink, sold in a white powder form in all spice shops, some supermarkets, For each cup of milk, use 1 tea spoon Sahlab powder, sugar, pinch of cinnamon powder and tea-spoon mixed nuts.
Moghat; or sterculaceae, used in eastern countries for nutrition and therapeutic properties, traditionally given to parturient mothers, with ground wild pomegranate root, mixed with cow butter, and sugar, maybe it is the only drink only made at home not found on coffee shops.
Sherbets and syrups(now mostly commercialized)
Rose petal syrup the most common on wedding parties
Violet petal syrup
Fruit based syrups, like juice of Mulberries, pomegranate, strawberries flavor, etc.
Syrups made from concentrated extracts of tamarind or carob
Qamar-El din is Reconstituted sun-dried sheets of Apricot some times used for making sweets especially in Ramadan month called "Mahallabiyya"
Egypt Alcoholic Drinks
- Although most of the Muslims in Egypt do not drink alcohol, they don't object to foreigner drinking, but doing it in reasonable amounts. Egyptian Muslims also don't eat pork, not only as ancient used to consider it is not clean or banned pork eater from praying in temples but also as one of Islam Banned food, hardly to find a place that offers pork here. While Alcohol is available in most hotels in Egypt, and most restaurants are licensed, and Bars. In addition to the usual range of international brands, visitors can try Egyptian-made wine & beer.
- Sakara Gold (regular lager), Sakara Premium (stronger lager)
- Stella Local (regular lager), Stella Export (stronger lager), Stella Premium (dark Belgian-style lager)
- Meister (regular lager), Meister Max (stronger lager)
- Heineken
- Red wine "Obélisque" made in Egypt but with imported Italian grapes. (Rouge des Pharaohs'), a light rosé (Rosetta) and a fresh, dry white (Blanc d'Alexandrie).
- The "Gianaclis" range is made with grapes from Egyptian vineyards, and has a fruity red Cabernet Sauvignon (Omar Khayyam), a delicate rosé (Rubis d'Egypte), and a fresh white Pinot Blanc (Cru des Ptolemées).
- The "Chateau Grand Marquis" is Egypt's premium range of wines, made out of Egyptian grapes in association with French experts. It contains a crisp, light white, an aromatic rosé, and a rich red.
Even more so than wine, the Egyptian brewing industry has recently transformed itself into an overnight success story, with many new local.
Remarkable thing that Egyptians like rest of the Muslims all over the world fast at holy month of Ramadan; it is the time when they all come close to each other and respect each other, so not recommend that you ask wine or beer from any restaurant, as most do not serve it during Ramadan.
While you can have another joyful during Ramadan as it is the time Egypt stay awake at nightduring this month, as watching several night Sufi dance show & religious songs.
8- Smoke Egyptian Tobacco, Shisha;
It was originally come from Turkish region from two hundred years before to Arab countries especially that some rulers came from turkey with their relatives who were smoke sellers, in many places still known as a hookah smoke, or hooka, in Syria and Lebanon called nargile, in Egypt known as Shisha, sheesha, in north Egyptian villages called Boory, pipes are lavishly decorated and can be used as decorations in the home or as a unique gift, "Meassel" is the famous name of the smoked tobaccos of the Shisha, it also has a lot of flavors , many people prefer these water pipes to regular smoking because of the smooth and cool taste of the smoke. Water pipes could filter the smoke, and water made each puff with sound oh so sweet!! It is a great way to liven up any party or just enjoy conversation over