Food For the Soul: Local Comfort Food Guide

Food For the Soul: Local Comfort Food Guide

Picture this: you had a rough day at work, Google Maps says it will take you one and a half hours to get home, and the cup of coffee you had in the morning did not sustain you for the rest of the day. A case of a blue day like this one calls for comfort food. Seasoned with warmth and spiced with solace, this comfort-food guide will soothe your soul.

All Things Soup

Image Credit: Eat Well 101

The first sip of a hot soup will never cease to make everything better. Whether you want to cook it or get take out, the soup will never disappoint.

Potato, Potato

Image Credit: Flickr

If you ever pass a truck that sells roasted sweet potatoes, by law, you need to get one. Roasted sweet potatoes are the perfect pick-me-up after a long day of work. It’s sweet, but if you want to go all out, you drizzle melted chocolate on top.

The best place for sweet potato: your neighborhood batata cart

Homos el Sham

Image Credit: Dr. Ola’s Kitchen

Also known as Halabessa, Hommos El Sham offers the best of both worlds, a combination of food and a drink in one go. It is a spicy-tomato drink, with chickpeas being the star of the show, garlic, and onion, and served piping hot.

The best place for hommos el sham: if you want the full local experience, hommos el sham is always served at the carts that line the bridges and Nile Corniche.

Roz Mee’amar

Image Credit: Artofit

Roz Mee’amar, or baked rice, is the creamy goodness of all things carbs. White rice, drenched in a creamy sauce, and baked either plain, with chicken or beef, or at best, with pigeons.

The best place for Roz Mee’mar: Le Pacha Carlos, Marzipan, Em Sherif


Image Credit: Am What I Eat

The frontrunner for comfort is Mahshi, which essentially means, ‘stuffed.’ A stuffed vegetable is cooked in a tomato broth, with rice, tomato, dill, cilantro, onion, and all things spice. The vegetables range from zucchini, peppers, cabbage, and eggplant to even tomatoes. Mahshi takes another form of ‘Waraq Enab,’ arguably its most popular one, where the herby rice mixture is used to stuff vine leaves.
Best place to get Mahshi: at the comfort of your own house. Here’s a simple recipe:

Rice mixture:
– 3 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 tablespoons tomato paste
– 1 can tomato soup
– 2 cups rice
-1 cup fresh parsley chopped
-½ cup fresh cilantro
-⅓ cup fresh dill chopped
-⅓ tablespoon dry mint
-½ tablespoon ground black pepper
-½ teaspoon salt to taste
Cooking liquid:
– 2 ½ cups hot water
– 1 bouillon cube
– 1 teaspoon tomato paste

– In a pot over medium heat, add oil and then sauté onions until translucent for about 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and paste. Stir to dissolve tomato paste. When it starts bubbling, add rice, spices, and herbs, and cook for just two minutes. Turn heat off and set it aside to cool down. Stuff each vegetable with the rice mixture, be careful not to overstuff, as the rice will expand when cooked. After the vegetables are assembled, dissolve the bouillon and tomato paste in the hot water, pour into the pot, place on medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes until veggies are cookies. Serve it

Image credit: One Travel

Whether you’re craving something sweet or savory, the flaky layered pastry never disappoints. For the savory enthusiasts, Feteer is often layered with mixes of cheese, sausage, and ground beef. For a sweeter tooth, it is often layered with honey or molasses or extravagantly layered with Nutella, Lotus, clotted cream, and sugar.

The best places for feteer: Fatatri Wael, Samiha, Hamza, and Dina Farms.

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Farah Rafik is a graduate from the American University in Cairo (AUC) with a dual degree in Multimedia Journalism and Political Science. After being an active participant in Model United Nation (MUN) conferences both locally and internationally, Farah discovered her love for writing. When she isn’t writing about Arts & Culture for Egyptian Streets, she is busy watching films and shows to review. Writing isn’t completed without a coffee or an iced matcha latte in hand—that she regularly spills. She occasionally challenges herself in reading challenges on Goodreads, and can easily read a book a day.

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