I majored in Egyptian Archeology in college and spent my senior year at the American University in Cairo - so I became quite acquainted with Egyptian cuisine. Let's just say that when Egyptians go out for good Middle Eastern food, they frequent Lebanese restaurants.
This doesn't mean that Egyptian food is bad, but rather that it's not particularly exciting. As a student, I subsisted in shawarma sandwiches form a little restaurant close to the university. Served in bans with tahini sauce, the little sandwiches might not have been heavenly, but they made a nice lunch. My best friend went for the rice with bolognese sauce instead. We also ate a lot at Pizza Hut.
I do have some fond memories of some Egyptian food, however. Fitir, aka Egyptian pancakes, are out of this world. There used to be a place in Khan-el-Khalili where they made my absolute favorite ones. Alas, they were too challenging for me to make for this project.
I also have fond memories of kusharie, a simple peasant dish of macaroni and lentils, though the version I made left much to be desired. I did not make taamiya, known elsewhere as felafel, even though this is probably Egypt's national dish, because I got quite sick eaten some street taamiya in Mynia so many years ago and since then I haven't been able to stomach them.
Ultimately, these are the dishes I made:
Egyptian Meatballs, served with:
- Salatit Zabadi
Egyptian Pasta with Lentils
In addition, try this recipe for Egyptian Lentil Soup. I made it a couple of years ago for my daughter's birthday and had made it many times since - it's absolutely delicious.