The Spice of Life
In the alleyways off El Muezz street in Khan El Khalili, Cairo, lies the spice bazaar of Cairo.
Because it’s located so close to the scent area, the combined effect is a wonderland of olfactory sensation.
The spice shops themselves are crowded with overflowing canvas bags of pungent spices, herbs, and incense.
The lively activity of these narrow alleys, the vivid colours and smells of the spices, and the individual personalities of the traditional family shop owners create the atmosphere of an unspoilt Middle Eastern market.
Enjoy your shopping
The colour and excitement of the spice trade enhanced the exotic allure of Cairo as it is depicted in The Thousand and One Nights ( Arabian nights story),
Nowadays , only few modern merchant’s families still dominate the spices trade in Cairo .
Egyptian food is not as noted for its spices as are other national foods in the Middle or Far East, nonetheless, several spices are used in large quantities in this country.
Among them are Habahan (cardamom), used both for cooking and to spice coffee and tea, and Bohar, (also called Egyptian curry which is a mixture consisting of cloves, ginger, cinnamon, rose petals, and cardamom) used mainly in the cooking of meats. kind of pepper, used in making the typical Egyptian dish Shish Kebab, resembles black pepper but is larger in size.
Simsim (sesame) is also very common in Egypt, as in much of the Middle East, for use in making tahina and to top various foods like taa’mia or bread. Coriander, sesame, and cumin are fried together and mixed with salt to make the savory dukkah which is sprinkled on anything from eggs to bread, and often eaten by itself.
Cumin, anis, coriander, fennel, red chilt, Roselle and caraway are all common herbs and spices native to Egypt, most of them are produced in south Egypt and Sudan. Along with garlic, these constitute Egypr’s major spice exports to many regions