While some celebrate Christmas on 25 December, most Egyptians celebrate on 7 January, making Christmas eve on the 6th. With Advent coming to an end, and after long days of fasting and restrictions on poultry and dairy products, Christmas eve dinner is highly anticipated by both young and old.
Egyptian Streets asked its readers which foods and dishes they cannot imagine their Christmas eve dinner table without, and these were some of the most favored dishes.
As a dish that compliments every dinner table, fatta is a mix of rice and toasted pita bread, topped with meat cubes and garlic sauce. Some like to have it with tomato paste on top, but the majority prefer the accentuated garlic flavor of traditional Egyptian fatta.
Macarona Bechamel (Bechamel Oven-baked Pasta)
Pasta may seem like a mainstream dish, but for Egyptians, a traditional macarona bechamel is so much more than just pasta. Considered a comfort food by many, this delicious mix of penne pasta, layered with spiced minced meat, and creamy bechamel sauce on top will complement any dinner table. It is a staple in almost every Egyptian home on Christmas eve.
Roasted Turkey or Stuffed Duck
If the dinner consists of a large ‘ozouma (gathering), then the main dish would usually be a roasted turkey or a stuffed duck. Christmas eve is considered incomplete without either adorning the table.
Roasted turkey recipe.
Stuffed duck recipe.
Stuffed vine leaves
A personal favorite among many and a tasty addition to any dinner table, stuffed vine leaves are loved by children and adults alike. Whether with stuffed meat and rice or only rice, vine leaves are guaranteed to make a Christmas dinner table extra special. It is usually accompanied by yoghurt salad, and due to the amount of time it takes to make, is often a prized dish.
Subscribe to the Egyptian Streets’ weekly newsletter! Catch up on the latest news, arts & culture headlines, exclusive features and more stories that matter, delivered straight to your inbox by clicking here.