Monday Meal Review: Egypt


We huddled together on the couch – three big geeks – faces glowing in the flickering light. It was Mr Picky, myself, and our friend Janine. Ava was asleep for the night. In fact, she’d been asleep for hours and hours and hours.

The coffee table was loaded up with platters of Ful Medames, White Coffee, and a box of kleenex – just in case.

Now, before you get the wrong idea, I should state that I’m not normally a TV person. I was raised without it. My mother kept hers in the closet. My foster parents had a no-TV-unless-you’re-on-vacation rule. Times were tough.

Today? I live wild and free, by my own rules. And my own rules clearly state that I am allowed to occasionally stream Netflix to my otherwise functionless TV.

So there we were, living wild and free, watching our biggest guilty secret, Roswell. Have you heard of it? It’s a show about teenagers, romance, and aliens. In no particular order. From 1999.

So, why Roswell? I love watching the characters strain towards heroism. Fighting with all they have to avoid persecution (they’re aliens, after all) and become the best they can be. It’s the ultimate show about outsiders, tolerance, and figuring out what love is all about. As each episode ended we just had to watch another.

Before I knew it, it was 1 in the morning and I had ingested more rose water tea and fava bean dip than my stomach knew what to do with. And a super cute main character may or may not have died. And come back to life.

Oh the drama.

Someone tell me I’m not alone. What is your latest obsession?


Kushary (also Kushari) [Recipe] with Spicy Egyptian Tomato Sauce [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

This is a mountain of carbs, covered in sauce, with a few lentils tossed in for good measure. Against all instincts, I took a bite. Mr. Picky took a bite. I was in love. He was lukewarm. So, I ate his portion.

What I liked least about this dish:

There are many steps to making Kushary, but the good news is that you can make a giant batch and eat on it for days. While tradition says to spoon the various ingredients onto individual plates, I find it much more efficient to layer them into a casserole and reheat. That way the exact right timing is not an issue.

Fava Bean Mash (Ful Medames) [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

Healthy, vegan, and incredibly flavorful – the bright lemon juice sears through the beans, melding with the oil and parsley for a perfect dip. Plus, it makes a great accompaniment to your favorite show.

What I liked least about this dish:

There are not many ingredients in this dish, so you’ll need to check your seasoning to ensure the best possible flavor. Keep adding salt and lemon juice until the flavor is bright. The parsley and olive oil finish things off, but don’t carry the flavor as much as the salt and lemon juice.

Ali’s Mother (Umm Ali) [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

This was quick and easy to put together. I enjoyed the crunch of the nuts and coconut flakes, in combination with the soft raisins.

What I liked least about this dish:

The texture is meant to be wet, soggy even. I based my recipe on Clifford A. Wright’s version, so I am sure that I am working with a good, authentic recipe. I had a hard time getting used to this soupy/breakfast cereal-like texture. Keith felt the same way, except he kept spooning it into his mouth. Until I told him how much fat is in half and half. Then his eyes got really big.

White Coffee (a.k.a. Rosewater Tea) [Recipe]

What I liked most about this drink:

While you could make a steaming cup of white coffee with a zillion different flavors (such as orange blossom water or cinnamon sticks), I fell in love with the rose water mixture. The irony is that I was lukewarm about rosewater this time last year. Today, thanks to Global Table Adventure, is a different story. I like how it feels to drink a rose, especially with Valentine’s day coming up so soon! Also, Ava drinking her cup was about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Just wait until you watch Ava’s corner 🙂

What I liked least about this drink:

Not much! Mr Picky, who doesn’t like hot drinks to begin with, was not a big fan. His reaction? “Hmm.” And then he put his cup down.

Ava’s Corner:


  1. Collette Lemons says

    Awesome. I think I would probably try all of it except the Umm Ali as I hate coconut.

    Where did you find Rose Water? I might give that a try. Does it smell like roses?

    • Sasha Martin says

      It smells exactly like roses 🙂 I found mine at the Indian market at 41 and the promenade – it’s near woodcraft if you know where that is.

  2. Absolutely delicious! 🙂 I know what you mean about TV. I wasn’t raised with it either but now my guilty pleasure would have to be “Glee” (I know, I know) and “Lie to Me.” 🙂

    • Sasha Martin says

      Guilty pleasures are fun … I haven’t seen Glee, but I’ve heard it’s all the rage. I’m usually about ten years behind, so maybe I’ll see it in the next decade. 🙂

  3. Wow, what a great idea for a blog – to cook the world! Thanks for stopping by my blog and I’m looking forward for you to reach Romania so I can see what you cook :).

    • Sasha Martin says

      I’m learning a lot and having a ton of fun in the process. Now it’s my turn to thank *you* for stopping by 🙂 Keep in touch!

  4. Donnie says

    I love how Ava’s motor skills are really developing. She was pouring that “coffee” like she does it all the time! So cute.

    • Sasha Martin says

      I know, my heart melts every time I see her do something new. Seems like just yesterday she was all gums lol

  5. Caroline says

    I started following your adventures somewhere between Burundi and Cambodia (I remember distinctly thinking how easy it would be to pickle limes in Tucson nearly all year round. This was not so last week.) I’m a college student, so I inevitably I do not do a lot of cooking. But someday, in the near future, I hope to work my way through some (if not all) of these amazing recipes that you have been sharing.

    Today I decided to comment, though, based solely on your choice in television. I thought this adventure was cool before, but today it was promoted to AWESOME. I’ve been watching Roswell since it first aired on television, and every time someone else mentions it, I get a little giddy 🙂 It is one of those amazing shows that has the power to bring people together. And not in the way that Lost or the Super Bowl does. It was a show that only a few people watched (in comparison), and therefore I always feel like I have a met a kindred spirit when someone else brings up their love for it in conversation 🙂

    All of my other obsessions pale in comparison to Roswell, but I will admit to having a soft spot for Glee.

    p.s. Ava’s tea party is adorable!

    • Sasha Martin says

      Caroline! Wow! 🙂 I’m glad you came out of lurkerdom to write… how fun – and I know exactly what you mean -it’s such a small group of followers, it’s like we have some special secret. Giddy is the right word, too… I can totally relate. I notice you said “I’ve been watching Roswell since it first aired on television…” so does that mean there’s life after finishing the series? Am I destined to watch it over and over again? Because, right now, that’s sort of what we feel like doing LOL. I’m so glad you commented, keep in touch! 🙂

  6. aunty eileen says

    “Someone tell me I’m not alone. What is your latest obsession?”

    ha ha Sasha… that is easy to answer: Your blog! 🙂

    So see, now you know you are never alone even if you are sneaking watching TV alone…

    …as someone is probably on your blog looking around and enjoying theirself with you on your blog : )

  7. Hi Sasha,
    I just came across your blog and I’m in love. What a wonderful, creative, delicious project for you and your family. I love almost every cuisine out there and I am so excited to discover all these new dishes you’re preparing. And since you’re on the E’s, I can’t wait til you get to Ethiopia, home to my absolute favorite cuisine. I look forward to seeing what you make and how you like it. Now it’s time for me to go raid your archives! 🙂

  8. Barbara Clough says

    Loved the kushari! I also made Hawawshi- handheld meat pie sort of thing – yum! Also made Egyptian tomato salad. Now want to make Egyptian Basbousa cake next.
    And…. need to try the rose water tea – wasn’t fond of Afghanistan rose water pudding long ago, so need to try this!!

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