Kishk – My Favorite Egyptian Dish

Ever since I was a little girl I loved eating homemade Kishk. Like a savory rice pudding, my favorite ingredients of rice, milk, tomato sauce and fried onions unite into this spectacularly tasty marriage that makes my taste buds dance. It was also a favorite dish while I was growing up because it would bring a piece of Egypt to our London home, brightening up any rainy day. It would remind me of our times in Egypt when my relatives, family and I would gather around the dinner table, breaking bread together and diving into its creamy white texture whilst drowning the Kishk with its delicious and quite special tomato sauce.

But because Kishk is a carb-fest meal – flour! rice! bread! – and I cannot stop eating it when it"s around, we only make it once a year during Ramadan, for the sake of our health. It’s a pure indulgence during Ramadan, without a hint of guilt.

Kishk is usually made alongside chicken or duck, to add protein to the meal. The chicken or duck stock is used in the Kishk, adding an extra dimension to its taste. The fried onions are like icing on the cake, and the darker, the tastier. It’s pure comfort food. Nervous about exam results when I was in high school, I would ask my mother to make Kishk. During the freezing cold winter evenings, its aroma would warm up our home. There are so many comforting memories attached to this dish, and it would have the same delicious, heart-warming taste every time.

I remember I was a student at university when I first made Kishk. It turned out beautifully and I found the steps quite simple, even if there were quite a few things to do it was worth it when it was finally time for dinner. It’s the tomato sauce that gives it that extra flavor and punches and it’s one of the many reasons why Kishk will always be my favorite Egyptian dish. Because I have so much of it when I do eat it and I’ve filled up my quota for this year, I feel quite satisfied with waiting until next year’s batch.

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