by Islam El Shazly
Egypt shares some desserts with the Levant, but they are a bit different when it comes to taste.
All the ingredients in the desserts are natural and include a lot of sugar; you will find that Egyptians like their sugar. These desserts are not like anything you have tried before, unless you have visited Egypt and decided to try them.
Below is a list of just a few of the most brilliant desserts you can find in Egypt, and believe me there is a lot more different kinds of desserts available: French, Danish, Italian, etc., and even more different kinds of Egyptian desserts but I think this list is enough to get you started.
Warning! Major calories here; but the taste is worth each one of them.
1. Roz bil-Laban (Rice with Milk/Rice Pudding):
A favourite with children and adults alike, it is a very basic desert and very nutritious. Rice, milk and whatever else you might want to garnish it with once it’s done.
2. Qara’ ‘Asali (Baked Pumpkin):
Unlike pumpkin pies, this one is not a pie! This one is a concoction of pumpkin, milk, butter, flour and sugar that is baked to total sweetness and with no crust.
3. Umm Ali:
Literally The Mother of Ali! No clue how it came to have this very colourful name, but there are lots of speculations as to the etymology of the name. Phyllo Pastry, milk, double-cream, nuts, bake it and enjoy.
There are many different verities of this one, you can have it topped with nuts or you can have it plain, either way very tasty.
Baked noodles with cream, nuts, double-cream… sweetness.
6. Gullash (Sweet Phyllo Pastry):
A variety of Baqlawa with different stuffing; it can be stuffed with cream or custard and covered in sugar syrup.
7. Qatayef / Zalabyah / Balah El-Shaam:
Qatayef resemble Pierogis only sweet and stuffed with double-cream, nuts, or custard. They are very widely available during Ramadan, otherwise they are mostly home made. Zalabyah and Balah El-Shaam (Levant dates) are quiet unique to Egypt and the Levant, basically flour and sugar swimming in sugar syrup.
8. Batata (Baked Sweet Potato):
Very popular in the winter for the burst of warmth and energy it provides. You can even see wooden carts with make-shift charcoal ovens on top and a whole lot of sweet potatoes baked on demand on the street.
Glorious, that’s as close a translation I could find for this word. In its basic format it is a glorified fruit salad, but add ice cream and juice cocktails to the mix and you have Fakhfakhina, the mother of all fruit salads. The best thing about it is that it changes with the seasons, so you always get different fruits.
A staple in Ramadan, Dates and dried fruits in water and sugar.
1, 2, and 3 are available at Al-Madina Al-Munawara, they have branches in Heliopolis, Maadi, and Marina (North Coast). 4, 5, 6, and 7 are available at Sedra, they have two branches, one in Heliopolis and the other in Marina (North Coast.)Tags: Basbousa, Dates, Desserts, Gullash, Kunafa, Oriental, Pastry, Phyllo, Rice Pudding, Sugar, Sugar Syrup, Sweet Potatoes, Sweetness, Syrup, Umm Ali