Egyptian Hawawshi is a very famous traditional Egyptian street food. However, it is prepared in Egyptian homes as well. The quality of the meat for the ones that are made at home is much better, but there is still something special about the ones made outside. Hawawshi is basically some type of dough or Egyptian bread “Baladi” stuffed with ground beef, spices, onions, bell peppers, and more. It is super tasty specially with the grease from the meat on the bread. My memory of a good Hawawshi in Egypt is the one that is usually wrapped in newspapers and leaves a good shiny grease on my fingers. My best experience of Hawawshi was in an area called “Imbaba” in Egypt where I ate my favorite Hawawshi from a butcher shop! It was an actual butcher shop that was selling meat and cooked Hawawshi. Strange combination but it actually makes sense. This recipe below captures the good flavors but with some tweaks if the Egyptian bread is not available.
6 baladi bread or pita bread
2 pounds ground beef (I use the more fatty one, 80%-20%)
1 tablespoon all spices
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
1 minced bell pepper by the food processor
2 minced garlic cloves
2 minced onion with juices squeezed out
1 seeded and diced roma tomato
1/2 tsp of chili flakes (for spicy)
1 sliced jalapeno (for spicy)
1 tablespoon corn oil or canola oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mix the beef, the onion (squeeze its juices out), diced tomato (remove the seeds out first), minced garlic, green bell pepper and all spices.
Mix everything well together.
Open the baladi or pita bread carefully and stuff it with about a 1/4 inch of the beef inside it.
If you like it extra spicy, add a few of the sliced jalapeno inside the bread.
Add a little bit of paprika (1/8 teaspoon) on the oil.
Use your brush and brush both sides of the bread with little bit of oil.
Wrap each bread piece into the parchment paper and make sure to wrap it so the bread is not showing from the sides. This will help keep all the grease inside 🙂
Place all the wrapped breads on a tray in a single layer. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes. Enjoy!
P.S. Some people use instead of the bread an actual dough, this is very known in Alexandria. So, sometimes I use the pizza dough and make it thin and flat then I put the same beef mix and add another layer on the top then bake it. It is so delicious too but extra work 😉