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Dalama Adventures Tale of two corporate types ditching their jobs and traveling the world for 14 months... check out all photos, blogs & interesting tid bits at http://www.dalama.net

Learning to Cook Egyptian

EGYPT | Wednesday, 8 August 2007 | Views [3945]

One of the local experiences that has been such a treat for us during our travels, is learning to prepare local specialty dishes while visiting with friends.  Today we learned first hand from Raja how to cook Mashi, a local Egyptian dish, similar to Greek grape leaves, but even more flavorful.  Mashi is a wonderful mix of rice, onions, parsley and herbs that we roll and stuff into vine (grape) leaves, as well as into hollowed out peppers, zucchinis, tomatoes and aubergines.  Raja shared her secret recipe and technique with us, which took us all morning and afternoon to complete...  starting with shopping for veggies at the local market, selecting the best of the amazing vegetable produce, and then carefully preparing the veggies, mixing the spices and rice, and finally moving through the production line on the living room floor - eventually placing them into the cooking pot to bake up.  The fruits of our labor were so delicious and get better with each day they sit.  
Kim and Raja also introduced us to many delicious local dishes.  We went to one of the local food shops and watched with delight as the men made a special dish called Fateer...   they spin pastry dough, the size of an absurdly oversized pizza over their heads, and then stuff the pastry with cheese, veggies and savory bits in one, and sweet cheese, nuts and honey in another... dinner and dessert ready to go in minutes.  We also hit up another local cookery where we ordered up Kosherie, a delicious mixture of rice, lentils, small pasta noodles, all mixed up with tomato sauce and fried onions.  Kosherie will definitely be a fixed addition to our weekly medley of meals back at home.
Raja also treated us to delicious breakfast fare in the mornings, including homemade Foul (means with garlic, parsley, live oil, lemon, salt, pepper and cumin), Tameeya (similar to falafel with sesame seeds), freshly made Tahini dip, Liga (delicious egg dish), Oris (slightly sweet round bread), and fresh pita bread.  One morning we received an amazing treat from Adal, which was called Sarookh, an Egyptian breakfast sandwich like a pita shammy stuffed with falafel, veggies, beans, and other various ingredients that makes every bit a new flavorful surprise.  A delicious, refreshing treat from Raja was a big jug of Karkadey; a pinkish/purple habisscus drink that we have only been able to find in Egypt.  We wish it was available at home, it's amazing stuff!
We even had an evening where we made the obligatory Mexican fiesta... local Egyptian style.  We got fresh fish and tortillas, and made up fish tacos with an Egyptian flair.  It was a treat, both for Darrin and I, as we're really missing Mexican food, and for Kim and Dennis, who haven't been home to the states for a local meal in awhile.  Selfishly... Kim and I used the fish taco experience to reminisce about our Mexico surfing trip to Las Gaviotas years earlier, for fine lobster, fish tacos, beans, fresh made tortillas and margaritas.  Now it's same, same, different country .
For dessert, we have been very spoiled with the Egyptian plethora of sweet treats.  Raja brought us a yummy platter sampling some of Egypt's finest:  kunafa, baalawa and bassbosa, and muhalabiyya - the later being my absolute favorite, a square shaped dessert made of ground rice, milk, sugar, rose water and an almond on top.  So once again, food and drink seems to be a central theme for our travel highlights, and it's a good thing my stomach is on the road to recovery, so I can fully indulge in these Egyptian gastronomical delights!

Tags: Food & eating


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