Week 14. Egypt. Hummus, Eesh Baladi, Dukkah and Kebob

I’m going all out with a few dishes this week as I’m excited about cooking Egypt.  I think it was 2007 that my wife and I spent 2 weeks there and we absolutely loved every minute of it. The heat was so brilliantly intense that when you walked outside for a minute you felt your head was folding in on itself, the sea was clear,  the people were lovely (albeit a little forceful) and the food was phenomenal.

Before I went to Egypt I am sad to say that I always had my Hummus in the dry “English” way i.e. out of a pot with a pitta or a vegetable stick.  Out there, when I sat on a roof terrace as the sun decended and my first dish of hummus was brought to me, I sighed as I realised the errors of my ways. Hummus in Egypt is usually served spread out with a large divot in the centre which is filled with peppery olive oil. It makes all the difference and even if you are not bothered to follow my hummus recipe and prefer the Tesco version, still slap some oil on it as it will liven it up beyond belief. Try not to buy the supermarket nonsense though and make your own as it is a different taste, which if you like Tesco hummus, I guarantee you will love!

I couldn’t just make Hummus, so I have opted for everything else which I loved about the food in Egypt and put them together in a smorgasboard of spicy fragrant delight. What makes me enjoy Egyptian food so much is the way they use texture in their food along with a mix of spice and fragrance. Dry dukkah, wet hummus, meaty spicy kebabs, flat soft bread. It’s great.

So here is what I made, alongside the review:

Dukkah – I love this nut and spice mix. It is so simple to make and works as a dip but also as a marinade for meat. I used it as a dip, but mixed some with the hummus. It tasted just like it did in Egypt.

Eesh Baladi – so simple. Wheat flour, water, yeast, salt. They taste much better than they sound, but that is usually as they are laced with Dukkah and Hummus!

Hummus – I told you before. You don’t know what Hummus should taste like until it is home made, fresh and served with great olive oil.

Kebob – I just used various spices for this which would be readily available in Egypt. Marinated it in yoghurt and skewered it with onion and tomato. I’m sure you can imagine how good it tasted.

Final review. I genuinely enjoyed this meal more than any more on my cooking adventure. Before today Sri Lanka just had it, but it doesn’t any more. Delicious.

Recipes.

Dukkah:

100g Seseme Seeds

100g Blanched Almonds

25G Coriander Seeds

25G Cumin Seeds

1tsp Salt

Toast everything bar the salt for about 3 mins or until they start to brown. Blitz the lot with the salt. Done.

Eesh Baladi:

1.5 cups wheat flour

1tsp yeast

1tbsp salt

1 cup Water.

Put all in a bowl (bar the water) and stir together. Slowly add the water and make a dough. Split it off into small balls, flatten them and then rest them for 1.5 hours. Bake them for 30mins.

Hummus

1 can chickpeas

100g Tahini

Dash smoked paprika

1tsp salt

3 cloves garlic

1tsp cumin

3tsp lemon juice

2tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Drain the chickpeas, but add a bit of the juice into the blender. Add everything else and blitz it all. If it is still a bit chunky add some water and blend until very smooth

Kebob:

I’m not going to add a recipe for this as I threw it togeher without really concentrating as I wanted the Hummus and Dukka to be the main attraction. In summary: Yoghurt, chicken, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, tomato, onion, BBQ (in the dark)

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