I chose Egypt for no other reason than I know almost nothing about it. I haven’t been there, have never eaten at an Egyptian restaurant, and would not even be able to name a typically Egyptian food.
There’s no better way to learn than to host lunch in Egypt, is there?
Our menu is:
- Spicd prawns
- Falafel cakes
- Lentil soup
- Roasted chicken and potatoes
- Om Ali
- Rose leaves
- Ghoyayeba (butter cookies)
- Cleopatra’s kiss (cocktail)
Here are the recipes for our faves – Egypt best recipes
Click here to see all our favourite recipes.
Hello Egypt. Land of the pyramids, the Nile and the oh-so-scrumptious Omar Sharif. Love Omar Sharif!!!
We’ve had to play around with dates for our lunch in Egypt. The last Sunday is 24 September, but Lauren and Will are away that weekend, so we’ll have lunch in Egypt this coming Sunday – 17 September.
I have to admit to being, at first glance, a little disappointed about Egyptian cuisine. I’ve never been there, so didn’t know what to expect, but there is nothing out of the ordinary as far as ingredients are concerned. Probably the most exotic ingredient I need to source is sumac, which is, I suspect, fairly easily obtained at the local Coles or Woolies.
But to put it into perspective, the ingredients for Morocco and Greece were not difficult to obtain, and they were absolutely amazing meals. Fingers crossed for Egypt!
Our Egyptian feast will comprise dukkah (of course), maneesh (Paul Hollywood’s recipe), lentil soup, koshari, spiced prawns (I hope the Australian prawns have got over their white-spot epidemic, or whatever it was they had), fattoush, falafel cakes, om ali and rose leaves. Actually, when I say those words quickly and all in a row, it does sound quite exotic, doesn’t it?
Contrary to my usual style, I have not researched what our accompanying drinks should be. The Dan Murphy’s web site tells me that they have Egyptian wine, but it’s close to $100 a bottle. Um. No thanks. Maybe there are some Cleopatra or pyramid cocktails out there somewhere.
My friend Jan is coming, as is Leonie, who is a school-friend mum of Lauren’s. Leonie is a very smart operator, and has arranged for her husband and daughter to be somewhere else on Sunday afternoon, so she can enjoy an Egyptian feast solo. She can also walk home from my place. It’s an all-round win-win.
The Egyptian factsheet and place mat are attached. I think it’s my turn to do the quiz this time. They say there’s no rest for the wicked …
Lunch in Egypt, Sunday 17 September 2017
Omigosh!! Did I truly write that Egyptian food did not sound very exciting? It was amazing.
The dukkah was surely the best dukkah I’ve ever tasted, and I’ll certainly keep that recipe for future use. I had made Paul Hollywood’s Maneesh before, and can highly recommend it. Like most bread recipes, the result belies the simplicity of the method. It’s a very impressive bread for very little effort.
Koshari, fattoush, lentil soup, falafel cakes, spiced prawns. The list of yummy foods just goes on and on. Although the “Egyptian roasted chicken and potatoes” was delicious, it was flavoured with Italian herbs. I’m not convinced that putting “Egyptian” at the beginning makes it authentic Egyptian. It could have been Spanish or Moroccan roasted chicken and potatoes. But anyway – very nice it was.
The Om Ali was seriously delicious. It’s a dessert made of nuts and fruit, torn up baked puff pastry, milk and cream. Heavenly!
My work-friend, Jess, had given me a recipe for a unicorn cheesecake, and it’s been sitting on my fridge yelling “make me, make me” for a while now. And every time Lani comes to my place she says “make it, make it”. So Lani and I made it on Friday, and we launched ourselves into it today. Maybe we could have called it an Egyptian unicorn cheesecake.
The first round of Cleopatra’s kiss was too spicy, but the second was milder and a little easier on the palate. Similar or opposite to the real thing, I wonder?
It was a perfect spring day in Melbourne – the first dry day we’ve had in what seems like ages, so it was lovely sitting outside, sipping Cleopatra’s many kisses and chatting about all sorts of things.
Some photos of the day are included below. And, yes, that’s an Egyptian party pie that Liam is eating 🙂
Thanks to Jan and Leonie for your company today – you made it a lovely group, and we had a lot of fun!
Thanks to Jan for doing the quiz. Thanks to Leonie for being gentle and not trouncing us at it. And thanks to Elysia for the photos. Again!
Here’s the factsheet – Factsheet_Egypt
Here’s the place-mat – Place-mat_Egypt
Where to next?
Our next country is Nepal. Love Nepalese food!!