While a few detailed documents remain of ancient Egyptian activities and industries (as in the Medical Papyri), we have no such comprehensive resource for food preparation. It is only in rare instances that we have a full recipe preserved, as is the case with “Date Candy,” found etched on a piece of broken pottery to about 1600 BCE. In order to recreate what they ate, we instead rely on a diverse array of sources including temple records, tomb paintings, food remains in tombs, and ethnographic examples from past and present Egyptian eras.
Chickpea Salad is a reconstruction based mainly on this latter category. A popular and refreshing dish from Egypt’s Coptic, Islamic and modern periods, this salad combines a few simple native Egyptian and imported ingredients from the past 4,000 years.
Ingredients (the basics):
- 1 can Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) (15 oz.)
- 1 ½ cup coarsely chopped Cucumbers
- 1 ½ cup chopped Tomatoes
- ½ cup chopped Red Onions
- 1 cup coarsely crumbled Feta Cheese
- ½ cup Olive Oil
- 1/3 cup Vinegar
- Celery, Garlic, Salt & Pepper, chopped Parsley, and plain yogurt. Large leaf lettuce for optional serving suggestion. Eat with Pita bread.
- Mix olive oil and white wine vinegar
- Add in drained garbanzo beans with oil/vinegar mix and let sit for 5 minutes
- Add in cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and feta
- Add in any optional ingredients desired
- Mix well and enjoy!
- Spoon mixture into a bowl lined with large lettuce leaves, as in the photos.