Egyptian cuisine is as old as the pharaohs and a great way to add variety to your meals. Egyptian breakfasts are simple to make and contain ingredients you may already have in your kitchen. Eggs, onions, tomatoes and fava beans are the four main ingredients that you need to make a traditional Egyptian breakfast.
Ful Medames is a recipe that's remained unchanged since ancient times. It's a slow simmering stew of fava beans that are seasoned with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and other spices. This recipe isn't a quick one--it takes 16 to 22 hours to cook-- but you can make enough in a single batch for you to reheat and eat more than once. Start with dried, peeled fava beans and let them soak in water for 8 to 12 hours. Once the beans are soaked and dried, place them in a pot with some red lentils, chopped onions, garlic and cumin. Cover all the ingredients with water plus another 2 inches and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and let the mixture simmer for 8 to 10 hours. The final step is to lightly mash the finished stew and add lemon juice and salt. Serve with fried or boiled eggs and some pita bread.
Shakshouka is a popular breakfast dish throughout North Africa and the Middle East. While a finely chopped onion is sautéing in a large frying pan, grate 6 tomatoes using the largest holes on a food grater. Use fresh tomatoes rather than canned for better flavor. Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook, covered, over low heat for 25 minutes. Once they've cooked, crack 4 eggs directly into the pan and stir them gently to break the yolks. Cover the pan again and let the whole thing finish cooking for 3 or 4 minutes. After the eggs have set, sprinkle salt and pepper on top as desired and eat.
Eggah, a simple Egyptian omelet, has many variations. Some recipes call for adding spinach, tomatoes or feta cheese, but the simplest one is a parsley-and-onion omelet. To start with, sauté onions in a skillet until they're golden, then add parsley and flour. Stir everything together until it forms a smooth roux and take it off the heat. In a bowl, beat some eggs with salt and pepper to taste. Once it's all mixed, add the cooked onions to the bowl. The whole mixture goes back into the freshly buttered skillet and is cooked until the bottom is golden brown. Flip over and finish cooking.
- Photo Credit 4 eggs image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com
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