Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Eat like an Egyptian

Indian Bloggers

Picture credit : Ms. Bhakti Khatri

" Walk like an Egyptian ...
All the school kids so sick of books
They like the punk and the metal band
When the buzzer rings (oh whey oh)
They're walking like an Egyptian ..
. "

was my most favorite song, as a student. We the students of early 90s, always mugged up for one test after the another , hated every minute of it and still studied more to get good marks to remain in the good books of teachers and parents alike. The above lyrics echoed our emotions verbatim.

Picture Credit : Bhakti Khatri
Exotic Egyptian mythology always mesmerized me with Omnipotent Pharaohs ( Tutankhamen , Ramesses etc.) , Prince Moses-Ten Commandments , fascinating Cleopatra , Nefertiti , Grand Sphinx , mysterious Mummies , Exodus , Papyrus , Pyramids , Nile etc. I always dreamed of visiting exciting Egypt, while my friends had eyes only for U.S. & U.K.

An exclusive invite from Ms. Bhakti Khatri for Tableya Masri ( Egyptian Cuisine ) at Pop Studio, Vile Parle, was sort of visiting Egypt through Bhakti's hearty Egyptian tales. Bhakti has lived in Egypt most of her growing years and it is home for her. It’s her home away from home. When she shifted to Mumbai, she looked around for something similar but unfortunately could not find it. That's the reason for her to introduce Egyptian cuisine to the foodies of Mumbai.

The Tableya Masri is an Egyptian term ( concept ) originated from an old Egyptian ritual of a Friday ( equivalent to our Sunday / Holiday Mejwani ) afternoon community table = Tableya : a round table made of wood, copper or marble , placed in the hall) where the entire family and friends sit, chat  and feast together on local delicacies

We the bloggers cheered for the mauve colored, chilled  Egyptian tea Karkadeh ( dry Hibiscus flowers boiled in water sweetened with Honey / Sugar  ) . This same Karkadeh tea is served hot in Winters.

All Middle Eastern and/or Egyptian cuisine have dishes filled with meat (Lamb, Chicken, Beef, Fish and many more). However, Bhakti  being a vegetarian she would be introducing authentic vegetarian cuisine offered in Egypt.

The staple Egyptian dishes are called Ful and Tameya. Ful, is made of fava beans grown in the Middle Eastern area which is very similar to the Indian rajma with some localized spices and condiments. Tameya is the Egyptian version of falafel. The difference is Tameya being made of yellow fava beans again a localized grown pulse. There is a saying in Egypt, Ful & Tameya are eaten for breakfast by a rich man, for lunch by a middle class man and for dinner by the poor.

On every street corner of Egypt, there will be shop or a roadside stall to sell these dishes, with Aish (local pita bread) and Tahini.

Another well known dish is known as Khoshari is a dish made of rice, macaroni and lentils topped with a tomato – vinegar sauce, garnished with chickpeas and fried onions. The dish originated from India and Italy in 1914. Indian soldiers used the lentils and rice to make Khichdi, while the Italians added Macaroni.

Mah’shi, is another rice based dish which is originally made with short grain rice and beef. This stuffing is then rolled in grape leaf and cabbage and stuffed in eggplant, capsicum and various other vegetables. Mah’shi is a dish made on Fridays, during the weekly holiday where the family sits together to feast..

Last and the most loveliest part of this Egyptian Masri was making an Egyptian dessert, guided by Bhakti. How cool ... I mean How Sweet !  We were provided with all the nuts ( Pistachios , Almonds , Raisins , Walnuts etc ) to make our very own version of Um ( Mother ) Ali ( Name of the Egyptian Sultan ). 

UmAli a dessert which is purely Egyptian. The story goes, that Um Ali, the Queen consort, murdered the other wives of the King to be the regent. In celebration of the killings, she ordered a celebratory dish, a dessert.This combo makes up the world's best dessert , mother of all desserts = UmAli.

 It was so much fun layering our baking bowls with puff pastry ( made up of maida) , dry fruits, condensed milk, fresh cream , again dry fruits, again condensed milk for sweetness and finally garnished with raisins. I signed my dessert bowl before putting it into an oven , to make sure , it does not go amiss. In went our dessert bowls for baking and Bhakti continued her tales about 

 Ahhhhhhaaaaaa.... the aroma ... , the sight ...when the baked UmAli exited the microwave and made spectacular entry on the bloggers' table!

We culminated our Egyptian rhapsody with one more round of chilled Karkadeh to beat the Indian heat. Indian, Egyptians Chai-Bhai !

We returned home with bag full of Egyptian Tableya Masri ( tray full of my handmade UmAli, which was regally appreciated by none other than my now famous nephew Aamen.

I am sure, by now, you all  must be craving for exotic Egyptian Tableya Masri. You may contact at tableyamasri@gmail.com

For more updates follow : Twitter : @tableyamasri
Instagram : @tableyamasri


Kalpana said...

Wow - what a treat. I would love to be part of such an invite and write about it. I will follow the links you've so kindly added.


Hey Kalpana. Tableya Masri is absolutely the WOW treat, fit for Pharaohs.

Sims said...

Nice review and yes, food look yummy.


Hi Sims. Thanks for the appreciation. I will convey your compliments to Ms. Bhakti Khatri

Unknown said...

UmAli !! Looks Delish..
Didn't had a hint about Egyptian Cuisines but know I do :) thanks to your post.
Great review.


Welcome to 'Spirit Of Mumbai'. Same pinch, didn't know nothing about Egyptian cuisine, till Tableya Masri happened ( Special Thanks to Ms. Bhakti Khatri )

amsang said...

very nice coverage of the event. Lend a hand in preparing food, eating and clicking photos....sounds interesting.


It was the very first and fantastic experience with Tableya Masri. Exotic food tasting and preparing it as per the master Ms. Bhakti Khatri's instructions. Enjoyed every minute of it.