If you want a sandwich in Egypt, chances are you’ll be eating hawawshi. Hawawshi is a popular street food in Egypt that is basically their equivalent of a hamburger. Meat seasoned with spices, onions, garlic and peppers is stuffed inside a dough and cooked in a clay oven or on a griddle.
Hawawshi was invented in Cairo by an Egyptian butcher in 1971. Everyone loved his sandwich recipe, and it quickly spread throughout Egypt. This easy hawawshi recipe uses premade pita bread instead of homemade dough, so it’s much easier to make at home. Serve with a side of tzatziki, a bean salad or french fries for a delicious lunch or dinner.
Photo: Hawawshi being cooked on a griddle at a market in Egypt.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 to 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 to 35 minutes
Here’s how to make it:
- Put the onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeno and parsley into a food processor or blender. Pulse until finely chopped. Pour the mixture into a mesh strainer. Push on the mixture to release any moisture. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
- Add the ground beef, tomato paste and and all the seasonings. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Put about 1/3 cup of the meat mixture into the pocket of the pita bread. Lightly press the pita to spread the meat mixture evenly inside the bread. Put the pita onto a baking sheet that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. Repeat with the remaining pita bread.
- Spray the tops of the pita with the olive oil cooking spray. Bake in a preheated 400-degree F oven for about 15 minutes, then flip them over and cook another 5 to 8 minutes or until meat is cooked through and pita is crispy.
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