Enjoy your meal

“Bel hana wa shifa” in Arabic is commonly used to wish someone “Enjoy your meal” or “Bon appétit.”.

The recipes are from the cookbook “Bel Hana wa shifa wa alf Hana” written by Olette Freriks


“Ful is made from brown beans, a staple breakfast dish in Egypt prepared fresh daily. It has become the national breakfast here.

You can purchase ready-made ful from large barrels at the souk or along the street. Traditionally, it’s served with vegetables that add a salty and sour flavor. Ful found its place in Egypt during Greco-Roman times.

Alternatively, you can make it yourself. You’ll need a special Full pan with a heating plate. Start by soaking the beans for 24 hours. Then, place them in the pan with enough water to cover them to prevent boiling dry. Finely chop onions and tomatoes and add them to the pan along with salt and oil. A dash of oil helps smooth the simmering process.

Cover the pan, place it on the heating plate in the evening, and let it cook overnight for breakfast the next morning. Once cooked, you can serve it as is or mash it completely according to your preference.”



“The origins of the broad bean version of falafel can be traced back to Egypt, where the dish existed as early as the late Pharaonic period.

Similar to Yemen and the Levant, chickpeas replaced broad beans when the dish spread to the northern regions of the Levant.

Falafel is commonly eaten for breakfast in Egypt and is readily available on street corners. It’s typically served in a half-pita bread stuffed with salad ingredients such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and fried eggplant (which must be softened in the frying pan beforehand), sometimes accompanied by fries. This combination is known as Tahamiya. It’s a phrase that translates to ‘enjoy your meal.’

Today, falafel is widely available and is a popular vegetarian dish, often served as part of a meze platter.

To prepare falafel, start by washing chickpeas and soaking them in plenty of water for at least 16 hours until they absorb the liquid and swell. Drain the chickpeas and place them in a food processor or use a hand blender.

Add the spice mix and blend until smooth. Incorporate finely chopped fresh parsley and finely chopped onion to enhance the flavor.

Mix in the flour. If the mixture remains too wet, add an extra spoonful of flour. With damp hands, shape the mixture into balls about the size of bitterballen and flatten them slightly. Allow the falafel to chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Deep fry the falafel until golden brown. It’s another opportunity to say ‘Enjoy your meal!'”



A- 1 bouillon cube
B- 1 dried red pepper
Olive oil
C- 8 cloves of garlic
D- 1 onion
E- 1 egg
F- Dried Molokhiya

1- Preparing Dried Molokhiya:
If using dried Molokhiya, which is convenient for its long shelf life, start by rubbing the dried leaves to remove any stems or sticks. Use a fine sieve to ensure only the leaves remain.

2- Cooking in a Tagine:
Heat enough olive oil in the Tagine to cover the bottom. It takes a while for the Tagine to heat properly.

3- Sauteing Onions and Garlic:
Finely chop a large onion. Add it to the hot oil and fry, stirring occasionally until translucent and slightly browned. Add finely chopped garlic, crumbled bouillon cube, finely chopped tomato or tomato puree, salt, and red pepper. Let it simmer, stirring well to prevent sticking.

4- Adding Water and Molokhiya:
Turn off the heat. Carefully add water to the Tagine, filling it just over half. Stir well and turn the heat back on. Once the water boils, reduce the heat. Gradually add the prepared Molokhiya, stirring gently as it thickens.

5- Incorporating Egg:
Whisk gently as you incorporate an egg into the mixture. Ensure the yolk is broken and mixed thoroughly. Let it simmer for a few minutes until well blended.

6- Resting and Serving:
Turn off the heat and let the Molokhiya rest for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld. Serve with Egyptian flatbread. Enjoy your meal!


The origins of Baba ganoush can be traced to Southwest Asia, specifically the Levant, an area east of the Mediterranean Sea encompassing the Taurus Mountains, the Syrian Desert, the Great Arabian Desert, and the Sinai Peninsula. This region is known for its rich culinary heritage featuring many dishes based on eggplant, among which Baba ganoush holds a prominent place.

The name Baba ganoush derives from Arabic, where “baba” means father and “ganoush” is derived from the word “gannuj.”

The history of this dip dates back to ancient times, even to the era of the pharaohs. Eggplants were traditionally roasted in ovens and then pureed to create a delicious and refreshing dish. This method of preparation, involving the removal of the peel followed by seasoning with oil, has remained largely unchanged over centuries.



+ 2 Eggplants
+ Olive oil
+ Lemon juice
+ Tahina
+ Dried red pepper
+ 3 cloves garlic
+ Salt, parsley, and thyme
+ Black olives

1- Remove the purple skin from the eggplants and puree them.
2- Mix the eggplant puree with olive oil, Tahina, and fresh lemon juice.
3- Add salt, pepper, minced garlic, finely chopped onion, dried red pepper, thyme, or parsley.
4- Optionally, include finely chopped black olives. Mix all ingredients thoroughly.
Serve Baba ganoush with flat Egyptian bread and enjoy your meal!



Shakshuka: A Delicious Egyptian Breakfast Dish

Shakshuka is a popular egg dish enjoyed for breakfast or as a side dish across Arab countries. Each region has its own variation; in Egypt, we prepare it this way:


+ Oil
+ 4 eggs
+ 3 large onions
+ 3 tomatoes
+ 5 tbsp tomato puree
+ 3 cloves of garlic
+ Fresh green pepper
+ Fresh coriander
+ Salt and pepper

1- Prepare Ingredients: Chop the onions and tomatoes.

2- Cooking Process: Heat oil in a Targen over medium heat. Fry the onions until they become translucent.

3- Add Tomatoes: Add the chopped tomatoes and fry for about ten minutes, stirring gently. Season with salt and pepper.

4- Add Tomato Puree: Stir in the tomato puree and continue frying for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5- Incorporate Green Pepper: Add the fresh green pepper and stir briefly.

6- Prepare Eggs: Crack each egg into a small bowl before adding it to the pan. This prevents any bad eggs from ruining your dish. Create holes in the tomato mixture with a spoon and carefully pour each egg into the indentations.

7- Cook Eggs: Allow the eggs to cook gently over low heat until the egg whites are fully set. Occasionally spoon some of the tomato mixture over the whites to ensure even cooking.

8- Optional Oven Finish: For a different texture, place the Targen in the oven for 10 minutes with the lid on.

9- Serve: Sprinkle fresh coriander over the shakshuka and serve directly from the Targen. Enjoy with Egyptian flatbread.


Kushari: A Simple and Delicious Egyptian National Dish

Kushari is a beloved Egyptian dish consisting of rice, pasta, and lentils, with influences from the Hindu dish khichri. It’s known for its hearty flavors and satisfying textures.


+ 2 onions
+ 200 grams of rice
+ 50 grams of vermicelli
+ 200 grams of pasta
+ 200 grams of brown lentils
+ 200 grams of chickpeas

1- Rice and Vermicelli: Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan. Fry the vermicelli until light brown over medium heat, being careful not to burn it. Add the rice and continue stirring for a few minutes until the rice also browns slightly. Add enough water to cover the rice by about a finger’s length. Let it simmer gently.

2- Pasta: Cook the pasta separately until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water. Add the cooked pasta to the rice mixture.

3- Lentils: Soak the lentils in water for half an hour before cooking. Cook them over low heat until tender, approximately 15-20 minutes. Be gentle when stirring to avoid breaking the lentils. Drain and rinse under cold water before adding them to the rice-pasta mixture.

4- Chickpeas: Soak the chickpeas overnight and cook until tender. Place them on top of the rice mixture without stirring.

5- Fried Onions: Slice the onions thinly and fry them in oil over medium heat until golden brown. Drain well and let them cool. Spread the fried onions over the chickpeas.


–Garlic Sauce: Mix 3 crushed garlic cloves with 2 tablespoons of vinegar and the juice of half a lime in a bowl. Add 150 ml of water (or use some of the lentil cooking liquid for added flavor). Adjust the water amount to taste.

— Tomato Sauce: Heat oil in a pan, add tomato paste and a dried red pepper. Fry for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Add vinegar and continue stirring. After 5 minutes, add 200 ml of water, stir until fully incorporated. Season with salt and adjust spiciness to taste.

— Serve: Pour the sauces over the Kushari before serving to enhance the flavors. Adjust the spice level according to your preference, using chili powder for extra heat if desired. Enjoy your meal!