Koshart: – the most popular food in Egypt is not lamb, beef or even chicken. The vegetarian koshary – a mixture of rice, macroni, spaghetti, lentils and chickpeas, covered with a spicy tomato sauce and caramelized onions – is by far a favorite with the locals. The idea of mixing four sources of carbohydrates might put off health freaks, but after your first bite, this tangy flavored dish is sure to cast a spell on you. The fact that it’s easy on the pocket doesn’t hurt either.
Some say this dish is more than just food; it is symbolic of the harmonious intermingling of various food cultures in this strategically located country – the pasta belies the Italian influence, the tomatoes are from Latin America and the rice, you guessed it, is from Asia. Sprinkle the complimentary vinegar and spicy red pepper sauce to add a new dimension to Koshary.
You ‘ Fuul’
‘Fuul’ – Food tastes even better when you have a story to go with it. The first time I heard of fuul was on my first trip to Cairo. I asked the air hostess to list the local delights, and was bewildered when she looked at me with a straight face and said, “fool”! I got over the initial shock as she explained that ‘fuul’ is traditionally a breakfast dish made of fava beans, cooked and mashed with lots of spices. This dish will fill your stomach and give you a protein-rich start. Fuul is generally served with many elements such as butter, tomato sauce, tahini ( seasame sauce ), fired or boiled eggs and pastrami. The most popular way to eat fuul is with an Egyptian break bun or even pita bread.