Best Egyptian Street Food
Taameya is a variant of the Middle Eastern chickpea fritter that calls for fava beans instead of chickpeas, also touted as the original version of falafels. Usually, the fava bean mixture is flavored with leeks, onions, fresh coriander, parsley, and cumin, and before frying, the fritters are normally coated with sesame seeds.
Thanks to the use of fava beans, these Egyptian-style falafels are known for having a lighter, more soft, and moister texture than other falafel types. Among the Middle Eastern countries, the origin of falafels has long been fiercely debated; however, it is widely presumed that Egypt was the original birthplace of this beloved fritter.
Hawawshi is a popular Egyptian snack consisting of a traditional baladi bread, similar in appearance to the famous pita pockets, filled with a flavorful blend of minced meat, vegetables, and different spices. Inside the bread dough, the generously seasoned meat mixture is placed and baked until all the flavors combine, the meat is cooked, and the bread achieves a light golden color and a crispy texture.
Hawawshi is typically served alongside fresh vegetables, salads, and different dips, whether prepared at home or enjoyed in various Egyptian food establishments.
The Alexandrine specialty consists of fried beef liver with spicy seasonings such as cumin, garlic, cardamom, and chili peppers, Kebda Eskandarani or Alexandrian liver. It is usually eaten along with tahini dip in sandwiches, or on its own, followed by hot rice, lime wedges, or side pita bread.
Although not much is known about the origins of the dish, in Alexandria, where it can be found in various street food carts or fast food shops, it is extremely popular, perfect for a quick bite or an order to go.
Kushari, also known as koshari, kosheri, koshary, and koushari, consists of rice, pasta, and lentils as a plain, but flavorful Egyptian national dish. The name derives from the Hindu word khichri, which refers to a rice and lentil dish.
While in Egypt, it is enough to look for hot, edible pyramids on huge, shiny metal platters, as it is also a very popular street food. With the addition of crunchy, fried vermicelli and butter-browned onions, small yellow lentils and rice are simmered slowly in a rich stock.
Shawarma is a tasty Middle Eastern meat treat, marinated and spit-roasted, whose origins can be traced back to the period of the Ottoman Empire, while its name derives from the Arabic pronunciation of the Turkish word çevirme (lit. to turn; turning) and refers to the spinning skewer on which the meat is prepared.
Shawarmas are processed with either lamb, turkey, chicken, beef, or a combination of various meats that are slow-cooked for hours and dependent on their own juices and fat, gaining unparalleled succulence, but the marinade is the real secret to a great shawarma.
Even though these protein-packed chickpea fritters are listed as one of Israel’s national dishes, it is often suggested that falafel might have originated in Egypt, Lebanon, or Palestine. In the 1950s, Yemenite immigrants in Israel began making falafel on the streets in order to make a living, selling it wrapped in paper, which gradually converted this ancient dish into an early form of Israeli fast food.
As an alternative to the Israeli version, fava beans can be used instead of chickpeas, while the mixture is typically flavored with parsley, coriander, cumin, and onions. Today, falafel fritters are most commonly eaten in pita or lafa flatbread sandwiches, topped with fresh or pickled vegetables in both Israel and other Middle Eastern countries, and coated either in hummus paste, tahini dip, or a zesty, garlic-flavored yogurt sauce.