Interlude: Food in Cairo
After more than a week in Egypt, I am finding my way around with the Egyptian street food. Here is a sampling.
Kushairi – Like i mentioned, i cannot really take too much of this tomato paste, rice, spaghetti, macaroni, lentil combo. Tried it twice (the second time with non-existent minced meat in Dahab for additional 4 EGP!). But it is cheap and filling 3 EGP upwards for small to bigger sized cups.
Ta’miyya – This is the Egyptian term for falafel, which is fried chickpeas and fava beans. It tastes great, is filling and cheap. One falafel in a pita is around 1 EGP, add in 0.5 pounds with an egg. I can eat these all day and be happy. Except this one time I was eating one while surfing and the Internet got cut off. Page not found. There I was stumped, with bits of falafel on my shirt. I call it a “Felafel 404” situation.
Shawarma sandwiches – These are a bit like your Subway sandwiches. Meat slices spiced perfectly and stuffed into the french loaf. It’s a miracle i have not succumbed to the runs, I had so much of roadside 2 EGP (one in Alex bus station came with great spicy pickle combo) over the first few days when it was all i knew how to order. These days I’m a pro =) Depending on how big your sandwich is, it ranges from 2 to maybe 7 EGP, i think. I’ve seen shops selling at 20 EGP too.
Kofta sandwich – This is similar to the previous, except the kofta is a minced meat spiced and clumped up into sausage shapes. Same price too, and really tasty. Just pop into the shop selling, order yours, pay, get the receipt, and go to the serving counter to exchange for your sandwich.
Hummus – These dips are lovely. Whether with tahina, olive, chick peas, or other dips which are equally tasty though i have no idea what they are. Taken with flatbread.
Bread with cheese – It is just frenchloaf, with dollops of cheese and sugary liquid (jam?) inside. Yummy breakfast at 1 EGP or less.
Rice with milk – This is dessert. Mine was 1.25 from a shop in the wall. Served cold, it is VERY sweet but very satisfying.
Fresh fruit juice – Everywhere juice sellers will serve fresh fruit juice. I’ve had sugar cane at 1 EGP and orange juice at 3 EGP (tourist trap zone at Islamic Cairo!) They can mix up and there’s a special mix of fruits too.
Halawa Bars – This is technically not street food, but it deserves a mention. I am a halawa junkie now. These cost 0.5 EGP and are bought off the grocery marts. After I finished my muesli bars from home, these halawa bars take their place. I have lots in my pack now as emergency food. True, they are meant to be eaten with bread, but packed in these bars, they are so convenient. And fattening (100g contains 469 calories, 183 of those from Fat)
Roasted chicken – I’ve wanted to try these since Dahab, but never got around to having them. Those in Dahab were apparently overpriced and for the one i wanted to try yesterday in Islamic Cairo, the fella was bugging me with his “5 pounds for a photo” routine…Maybe I’ll have pigeon too.
Of course, there’s other stuff like shish kebabs, shish tawooks but those everyone knows =)
Here’s a good post with pics of some of the above. I never got round to photographing most of the food.
There you have it, a selection of street food i have been gorging myself upon. I daresay i am gaining weight here!