A Flavour of Egypt

…The desert wind that sifts the shifting sand
O’er buried cities and tombs of vanished kings,
Sad with the knowledge of forgotten things
And old with memories none may understand…

Egypt, one of the oldest civilizations in the world! I will never forget the excitement on hearing that Cairo would be my first overseas assignment with the British Diplomatic Service. That was over 20 years ago, but I can still feel the blanket of heat which engulfed me as I stepped off the aircraft, and if I close my eyes I can almost smell the sweet jasmine trees which lined the dusty streets.

A country steeped in history and culture – from the winding warrens of the Khan El-Khalili souk where I would wander for hours haggling over perfume bottles, spices and other treasures – to the wide open expanse of the desert where I would de-stress from the daily noise and traffic by riding on horseback for miles, then take in a spectacular sunset over the pyramids at Giza.

One of my most memorable journeys was driving through the Sinai desert by Landrover on my way to Israel. I was lucky enough to see some usually elusive Bedouin tribes who greeted me with curious, toothless smiles from afar. If ever you question infinity, it must be on such a journey with nothing other than sand stretching before you for hundreds of miles. There was, however, a sensual beauty in the starkness and solitude of the desert. I saw there, that there are many shades of sand – ranging from burning terracotta to liquid gold. Each shade determined by the sun and the moon. How small I felt in such a wondrous world.

…Dead kings knew love and passion ere they slept,
Dead cities once were glad with colour and light.
Dust now, and sand…. The wind passed through the night.
I turned to you and hid my face and wept. [Poem by Teresa Hooley]

Maggie Repp, February 2011

Baid Mutajjan- Fried Hard-boiled Eggs
Often sold in the streets of Egypt!
Peel your hard-boiled eggs and fry in olive oil until golden all around.
Dip eggs in a mixture of:
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt


My friend Maggie and I have teamed up with Joan of Foodalogue’s Culinary Tour: Egypt. I am not an expert on Egypt, so I have asked Maggie to guest post here on Big Red Kitchen and share a bit about her time in Egypt. What a wonderful tour she had, I can picture, smell, and taste Egypt through Maggie’s colorful stories she has shared with me. Thanks for letting us join you on this trip Joan!

Click here for the Egyptian Tour Roundup on Foodalogue.


  1. FOODalogue
    Posted February 22, 2011 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    What a nice surprise…thanks for joining the tour and inviting Maggie to participate as well.

    Fried hard-boiled eggs sounds wonderful. I'm adding it to the egg-dish rotation at Casa Nova. I'm happy to add this to the round-up which will be published Wednesday.

  2. Robin Sue
    Posted February 22, 2011 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

    Thanks Joan, we are happy to join. As soon as I saw Egypt on the list, I knew Maggie would tell a lovely story. Upon eating these eggs, Maggie said they scent of the spices brought her right back to Cairo!

  3. oneordinaryday
    Posted February 22, 2011 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

    What a great guest post. I liked reading about Egypt through your friend's eyes, and this recipe sounds really interesting. And really good!

  4. Miri Leigh
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 2:50 AM | Permalink

    This recipe sounds really interesting and fried hard-boiled eggs sound delicious. Thanks for the post!

  5. Belinda @zomppa
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 9:02 AM | Permalink

    Brilliant!! I love hard-boiled eggs of any kind and will definitely do this!

  6. Biz
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 11:47 AM | Permalink

    I know absolutely nothing about Egyptian food – are the eggs battered at all??

  7. Robin Sue
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

    Biz- no batter on this egg! Pretty easy.

  8. Sally - My Custard Pie
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 11:31 PM | Permalink

    Great pics of Maggies trip and what an amazing experience to meet the bedouin. Love these eggs – they look so pretty.

  9. Cindystar
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 1:30 PM | Permalink

    a lovely surprise your eggs, R.S., will try soon!
    and what a beautiful wonderful tajine!!!
    that made me go back to the kitchen and put mine (a recent gift, but it's all yellow, a color I don't like at all, but it was not possible to change, no other tajines left even in the Staub stores!) on the fire, trying to do lemon chicken, hope will be good, it's my first adventure with a tajine!

  10. Acky
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 5:15 PM | Permalink

    I like your pics, expecially the brillant photo of your recipe! I read Cinzia's comment and I've a new tajine to try, too…funny!

  11. Lori
    Posted February 25, 2011 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    Oh my, deliciousness. I love just about anything with Middle Eastern flavors.

  12. torwen
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 7:46 AM | Permalink

    Glad your friend joined you on this virtual trip to Egypt; she must have had a wonderful time there.
    Beautiful pic, the eggs look delicious and the tajine is just great.

  13. Jenn@slim-shoppin
    Posted March 2, 2011 at 10:06 PM | Permalink

    Interesting! Like Biz, I never have cooked Egyptian food. What a great experience you had – love the pics!

  14. Mindy
    Posted December 31, 2011 at 9:02 PM | Permalink

    First tried deep frying them because I didn't read clearly the directions. But after further examinations, found that I should just use a pan. Fun food adventure for sure!

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