Ah.. Food is a big big problem in Cairo, if you are from India.
You get only Basmati Rice or else the Egyptian 'mota' rice. Which a typical Tamizh guy will never be able to eat. I have a McD near my place. A Pizza Hut and countless number of slaughterhouses (where slaughter of animals takes place live) and 'n' number of bakeries.
O.K. The locals don't seem to have lunch. They order something from some coffeeshop. Falafel is the usual stuff. I've had plenty of this, when I was in Muscat. But the ones here are slightly different. They have 'Rajma' filling. Seriously it tastes so good. Then we have the 'Foul'. Again, Tasty.
Then, comes the Magnum Opus, K O S H A R Y. Period.
Nothing can beat it. For those who know me personally, good enough. Don't worry. I have not started eating non-veg. Wiki calls it as Kushari, whereas the locals call it Koshary. Its a mind blowing dish. Take it from a Vegetarian.
"Koshary is a traditional Egyptian meal that consists of a strange combination of macaroni, spaghetti, rice, black lentils, chick peas, garlic sauce and a spicy tomato chili sauce, all topped with fried onions."
At first look, நம்ம பாய் கடை பிரியாணி மாதிரி தான் இறுக்கும்... ஆனா இல்ல...
Setup, Vessels எல்லாம் பார்த்தா, நம்ம முனியாண்டி விலாஸ் பிரியாணி மாதிரியே தான் இறுக்கும்... Romba Romba tasty. I've fallen in love with it.
My lunch consists of One Medium Sized Koshary from Tom & Basal, that is right on the street. There is FelFela right across the street, where I can get my Felfela and Foul, in case I need some change. But at the moment, Koshary is all that I can ask for. I personally find it quite healthy too. Just make sure, you don't have too much of the chilly sauce that they provide.
One very strange thing about restaurants here. A take-away costs you less than a 'order-and-eat'. Take-away Koshary is 4 pounds. Order and Eat is 6 !!! and of course, you are expected to tip your waiter, quite handsomely. So, needless to mention. We just 'take-away'.
Then, we also have the Khaboos. This is the Iranian version of our plain and simple Roti, except that it is twice as thick and twice as heavy, and is made up of bread dough. When it is freshly baked, it is the best thing that you can have with any pickle. When it is cold, it is probably best had with some hot vegetable curry or sambhar or gravy.
Ah.. I forgot the Bakeries. The bakeries thrive here. Seriously. All different types of biscuits. For me, it was akin to a child lost in a Candy Store. So many choices, all looking equally tempting and delicious.
As for the vegetables, there is a vegetable mart for every two/three streets. But that is a different blog post altogether. :) :D