Anna Butler's Top 5 Favourite Vacation Recipes

Thursday November 02, 2017

 

One of the things I loved about writing The Jackal’s House was the memories it brought of Egypt, especially of the wonderful meals we had when we visited there a few years ago. Not hotel food, but local dishes we found in the little cafes and restaurants—like Fayrouz in Luxor or the Felfela in Cairo. If, like me, you love Middle-Eastern food, you’ll love these suggestions – and just in case you don’t have a Middle-Eastern restaurant near you, I’ve included links to recipes for you to try them out for yourself.

 

1. My absolute favourite savoury is ta’maya, the Egyptian version of falafel. In Egypt the recipe calls for broad beans (fava beans) instead of the chickpeas used in other countries’ versions. Try this recipe: http://www.alternativeegypt.com/Food-&-Recipes/Egyptian-Falafel-Recipe.html 

 

2. Koshari (or kushari) is a staple Egyptian food – rice with lentils and macaroni, topped with a spicy tomato sauce. Here’s a recipe: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/gallery/2009/mar/02/ahdaf-soueif-koshari-recipe - 

 

3. One of my favourite British desserts is bread-and-butter pudding. It sounds wholesome but is actually full of dried fruit and a creamy custard. The Egyptians don’t have an exact equivalent, but Umm Ali (literally this means “Ali’s Mum” or “Ali’s Mom”) comes close. Try this one: http://elephantsandthecoconuttrees.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/umm-ali-om-ali-egyptian-dessert-middle.html 

 

4. Baklava can be found all over the Middle East. Sticky and rich, it’s the ultimate sweet treat that will leave trails of sharbat—that is, a syrup flavoured with orange-blossom—running down your chin. I suggest you don’t attempt to make the filo pastry yourself. Not unless you have masochistic tendencies! Try this recipe: http://www.touregypt.net/egypt-info/magazine-mag01012001-mag5.htm 

 

5. And finally, Basbousa or Basboosa, a cake made from semolina and soaked in honey. More sweet stickiness! http://www.touregypt.net/recipes/recipeweek06282004.htm

 

 

So, what’s your favourite dish that you first tasted on vacation? Share a recipe here!