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Egyptian Hawawshi Recipe

Egyptian Hawawshi Recipe

Hawawshi is a hearty Egyptian dish consisting of ground meat flavored with herbs and spices, served between two layers of golden, crispy pita bread. Traditionally made using a combination of ground beef, onions, peppers, and fresh herbs, Hawawshi is Egypt’s answer to a hamburger.

Traditionally found in houses across the country, Hawawshi is also a popular takeaway item in restaurants and food stands everywhere.

Origin & Cultural Significance

Invented in 1971, Hawawshi was created by local butcher Ahmed al-Hawawsh at his stall in Souk Al-Tawfik, a small neighbourhood in Cairo, before quickly spreading around the country. The word ‘hawash’ also means to stuff in Arabic.

Traditionally, the stuffed pita bread was cooked in a clay oven, utilizing local but basic ingredients to create a meal that is bursting with local flavors. As well as being a popular street food, Hawawshi is also served at family gatherings and celebrations – a true testament to the versatility of the dish.


Egyptian Hawawshi Recipe

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

A popular Egyptian comfort food, enjoyed in homes and as one of the country's most well-loved street foods.


  • Ground beef or lamb - 500g
  • Onion (finely chopped) - 1
  • Cloves garlic (minced) - 2
  • Tomatoes (finely chopped) - 2
  • Green bell pepper (finely chopped) - 1
  • Red chili pepper (finely chopped) - 1 (adjust to taste)
  • Ground cumin - 1 tsp
  • Ground coriander - 1 tsp
  • Paprika - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt and black pepper - to taste
  • Fresh parsley (chopped) - for garnish
  • Pita bread or Egyptian baladi bread - 4 rounds


  1. In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the finely chopped onion and minced garlic until they become translucent.
  2. Add the ground meat and cook, breaking it apart with a spoon, until it browns and any excess moisture evaporates.
  3. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, green bell pepper, and red chili pepper. Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables soften.
  4. Season the mixture with ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5-7 minutes, or until the meat is fully cooked and the flavors meld together.
  5. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Take each round of pita bread and cut it in half to create two thin rounds.
  6. Place one of the thin rounds on a baking sheet. Spoon a generous amount of the meat filling onto the bread, spreading it evenly.
  7. Top with the remaining thin round of bread, creating a
    sandwich. Repeat the process for the remaining bread and filling.
  8. Place the Hawawshi sandwiches in the preheated oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the bread is crispy and golden.
  9. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
  10. Serve your homemade Hawawshi hot.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 242Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 310mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 17g

Nutrition is provided and calculated by Nutritionix. It is for general information purposes and is only a rough estimation.

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