Thursday, 30 July 2009

July "WALIMA" Challenge, Egyptian dish !! Koshary & Basbouuussa !! Enjoy !!

Hellooooo, This month we are celebrating the egyptian cuisine, yes I am an Egyptian and I am hosting the event...;))
The egyptian cuisine is a very rich one, The variety of Egyptian recipes is endless. They go back a very long way. As a result of subsequent colonization, foreign influence is somewhat present, specially from the Turkish cuisine (it is understandable after more than 300 years of Turkish presence in Egypt).
Egyptian cuisine consists of the local culinary traditions of Egypt. Egyptian cuisine makes heavy use of legumes and vegetables, as Egypt's rich Nile Valley and Delta produce large quantities of high-quality crops.Egyptian cuisine is characterized by dishes such as Ful Medames, Kushari, rice-stuffed pigeon, Mulukhiyya with rabbit, and Feteer Meshaltet, while sharing similarities with food found throughout the Eastern Mediterranean like rice-stuffed vegetables or grape leaves, Shawerma, Kebab, Falafel, Baba Ghannoug, and Baqlawa.
Bread forms the backbone of Egyptian cuisine. Bread is consumed at almost all Egyptian meals; a working-class or rural Egyptian meal might consist of little more than bread and beans.

Some Egyptians consider Kushari, a mixture of rice, lentils, and macaroni, to be the national dish. Ful Medames (mashed fava beans) is also popular and is used in making Ta'meyya (also known as Falafel), which Egyptians consider to be superior to elsewhere in the Middle East where chickpeas is the major ingredient of this dish, although chickpeas have been grown by Egyptians for thousands of years.

Ancient Egyptians are known to have used a lot of garlic and onion in their everyday dishes. Fresh mashed garlic with other herbs is used in spicy tomato salad and is also stuffed in boiled or baked aubergines (eggplant). Garlic fried with coriander is added to
Mulukhiyya, a popular green soup made from finely chopped jute leaves, sometimes with chicken or (preferably) rabbit. Fried onions can be added to Kushari.
Other popular dishes include:
Kabab and Kofta, usually of lamb meat, chops and minced meat on skewers grilled on charcoal.
Shawerma (Arabic: شاورمة) is a popular sandwich of shredded beef, lamb or chicken meat, usually rolled in pita bread with Tahina sauce.
Hamaam Mahshi (Stuffed Pigeon) pigeon stuffed with rice or wheat and herbs, then roasted or grilled. A delicacy in Egypt!
Mahshi is a stuffing of rice, seasoned with herbs and spices, into vegetables like green peppers, aubergines, courgettes, tomatoes, or cabbage leaves. The stuffed vegetable is then placed in a pot and topped with two cans of tomato sauce and lemon or lime.
Mahshi Waraq 'Enab is grape leaves stuffed with a rice mixture that can be made with sauteed ground beef or vegetarian style. The rice is seasoned with crushed red tomatoes, onion, parsley, dill, salt, pepper and Egyptian spices (boharat). This mixture is then stuffed and rolled into an individual grape leaf and placed in a pot and topped with two cans of tomato sauce and lemon or lime.
Macaroni with béchamel[2] is a very famous pasta dish in Egypt. The béchamel sauce is the key ingredient in it. Typically, it consists of a mixture of penne macaroni and béchamel sauce, and usually one layer of cooked spiced meat with onions.
Moussaqa'a is sliced eggplants that are lightly grilled and placed in a flat pan with sliced onions, green peppers, and jalapenos. It is then covered with a red sauce made of tomato paste and Egyptian spices. This pan is cooked in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees.
Kishk is made with milk or yogurt, and flour, sometimes seasoned with fried onions and chicken broth.
Mulukhiyah is prepared in various styles wherein the mallow leaves are very finely chopped, with ingredients such as garlic and coriander added to give it a characteristic aromatic taste.
Baba Ghannoug is a condiment made with eggplants, chickpeas, lemon juice, salt, pepper, parsley, cumin and oil.
Tahina salad (sometimes also referred to as Hummus salad if chickpeas are added for texture) is a condiment made with sesame butter, chickpeas, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, parsley, cumin and olive oil.
Duqqah is a dry mixture of chopped nuts, seeds and Middle Eastern spices and flavors.

Egyptian desserts are similar to other Eastern Mediterranean desserts.
Fatir are pancakes (filo dough) stuffed with everything from eggs to apricots or fruit of choice.
Feteer Meshaltet[3]
Eish al-Saraya[4]
Umm Ali is a national dish of Egypt. It is a raisin cake soaked in milk and served hot.
Basbousa or sometimes called Harissa (in Morrocco and Alexandria) is a sweet dish made from semolina and is soaked in a sugar syrup. It is usually topped with almonds and traditionally cut diagonally into pieces so that each piece resembles a diamond shape.
Qatayef is a dessert reserved for the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, a sort of sweet crepe filled with cheese or nuts.
Kunāfah is a dish of batter "strings" fried on a hot grill and stuffed with nuts (usually pistachios), meats, heavy whipped cream or sweets.
Baqlawa is a sweet dish made from many layers of phyllo pastry, an assortment of nuts, and soaked in a sweet syrup.
Kahk is a traditional sweet dish served most commonly during Eid ul-Fitr in Egypt. It is a shortbread biscuit covered with icing sugar, which may be stuffed with dates, walnuts, agameya (like turkish-delight), or just served plain.
Ghurayyeba is a common dish in all of North Africa. It is a sweet dish similar to kahk but much thinner. It is like shortbread and is usually topped with roasted almonds.
Luqmat al-Qadi literally translates to "the bite of the judge". They are small, round donuts which are crunchy on the outside and soft and syrupy on the inside. They may be served with dusted cinnamon and powdered sugar.

So this month I brought to you kushary or koshary and as a dessert I brought to you Basbouussa recipe, let's go ........


Koshary is not just one of the most delicious dishes in Egypt but it is also one of the cheapest meals in Egypt. housewives make it at home because it is cheap and it is much cleaner than the ordered koshary. Our challenge this time is about Egypt as all of you knows, so I wanted this time to present to you the main recipe for our Egyptian Koshary dish, please follow the recipe but I need from you different ideas in presenting this dish, it is up to your imagination, change in the presentation of the dish or add for it a side dish, it is you choice now !!
First, the ingredients:-

1 cup brown lentils

1 cup rice (Egyptian rice)
1/8 kg ditalini pasta

For the fried onions :
2 big onions and some oil for frying it.

About a 1/4 cup of vegetable oil.

For the salsa or tomatoes sauce:-

2 cups tomato juice.

1good onion chopped very finely.
3 garlic cloves, finely crushed.
1 TBS vinegar (white vinegar).
vegetable oil, salt, pepper, cumin, hot chili.

For Dakka:- a cumin, vinegar, garlic sauce

2 TBS cumin seeds crashed
Half a cup of vinegar
Half a cup of hot water
1tsp of hot chili- salt and pepper
4 garlic clovesHow to prepare it:-

Cook lentils in salted water until tender. Strain.

In a rice pan stir the washed rice in a tablespoon of vegetable oil then cover it with water put some salt and let it cooked till boiling then Cook it on a very low flame until tender.
Cook macaroni, strain, rinse, and strain again.
Place these three ingredients in a cooking pot.
Fry onions (in a separate pan) to a brown , then remove the onions onto absorbent paper and strain the oil into the lentil /rice/pasta mixture. Return the pot to the flame and cook for 7-10 minutes, keep the flame always low.

To prepare tomato sauce:-

Saute onions until soft, then add garlic and fry to a pale brown. Add tomato juice and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until sauce is cooked and becomes thick . Add vinegar and seasonings and cook 2-3 minutes longer.

To prepare Dakka:-

Take garlic cloves and hit them with the end of the knife, but don't break them up. Add into white vinegar and water mix. Add some cumin and coriander into the vinegar as well as salt and pepper and hot chili. Stir and let it aside.Serve the dish by topping each individual plate "rice/pasta/lentil" with tomato sauce and fried onions. Sprinkle it with some whole cooked chickpeas.
Serve it with a bowl full of Dakka so you can add from it the quantity you need in your plate.


One of the most famous dessert dishes in Egypt, you can find it in other Arabic countries but with different tastes and different flavors as well as different names.
I am presenting to you this time the Egyptian basbouussa.

The ingredients:-

2 and half cups of fine Semolina flourA half cup of all purpose flour
1 and half TBLSof baking powder.
A half cup of coconut
A 3/4 cup of ghee " natural ghee" or you can use butter instead of it but you have to make it one full cup "softened at room temperature".
1tsp of vanilla.
One cup of yogurt.
Half cup of sugar.

For the syrup:-

2 and half cups of sugar
2 and half cups of water
1 tbls of lemon juice.

Tahini and some butter to grease the baking tray.

How to prepare it:-

Mix the semolina- flour- baking powder- coconut- sugar- butter or ghee- yogurt- vanilla, mix it well with your hands, don't be afraid it will not bite you….LOL
Just to feel the batter and to enjoy it as I always do.
Grease very well your baking tray with a mix of butter and tahini, you can use just Tahini.
Pour your basbouusa dough and spread it using your hand to cover and fit your baking tray.
Garnish it with nuts and candied cherries, it is up to you, I love it with walnuts, hazelnuts and candied cherries. Take care and insert your nuts or fruits very well by pushing it down.
Keep your basbouusa tray for 6 or 7 hours before baking it.

To prepare the syrup:-

In a pan put the sugar with the water , on the stove stir it until the sugar crystals dissappear then let the spoon and add the lemon juice, let it boil till it reaches the thread point stage , add some vanilla . Keep it warm when pouring it over the basbouusa tray, it should be hot too.
Bake basboussa in a preheated oven on 230C or from middle to middle high temp.
Pour the warm or hot syrup over the hot basbouusa tray, and Enjoooooooooooy !!!
But you have to wait or you'll burn your tongue dear ;))))

Decorating and serving your dish is the subject of our challenge so please do your best to add to the dish some about you, the story you had while preparing the dish, and even if you did not like it, tell us or send it to me I would be soooo grateful.
Thanks fellows and hope you'll enjoy my egyptian dishes.


  1. Beautiful and very delicious post!
    Thank you for sharing the real!

  2. Salaam Alaykum Chahira,
    I totally enjoyed cooking koshary and basbousa,thanks for sharing such easy and delicious recipes.
    Yeah I don't understand much of Arabic language,but Alhamdulillah can read the Quranic Arabic.:D

  3. Ya Masr Ya Um Al Dunia....
    I still remember those words....
    Thank you so much Madame Chahira for hosting the July Challenge.... I can tell you one thing my customers raved on the Basboussa...
    I made two trays one I used yogurt and one i used coconut milk to balance the coconut flavour... both are awesome...
    Michel didnt get the chance to taste it... Still wants to try the Koshari maybe this weekend which is a holiday here in Canada..
    what is the Feteer Mshaltat, never heard about that before...

  4. تسلم ايدك يا شهيرة, انا من زمان كنت عايزة اجرب الكشري والبسبوسة, و بفضلك عملتهم, الله يحفضك, والله كل اللي داقوهم قالوا, ممكن تعمليهم لينا كل يوم, تسلم ايدك شهيرة, وانت اسم على مسمى شهيرة الخبيرة.

  5. hi chahira
    thanks a lot for sharing theses recipes,
    I made basboussa yestarday hmmmm was so delicious
    really yo've got so many delicious recipes in egypt, hope visiting it one day

  6. Hello Chahira
    Thanks for hosting the challenge. I can't wait ti try koshary. MY kids love lentils and pasta and I am sure they will love the combination!

  7. Je suis passée te dire bonjour et te donner un grand bisou.

  8. This is my all time favourite dessert. Loved visiting restaurants on Edgware Road in London to dig into this:)



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