Monday, August 10, 2015

First Time Siwa (2): Food Glorious Food - Abou Mardan

* You might read part (1) Just Like Shooting Stars here.


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Food,
Glorious food,
Marvelous food,
Fabulous food,
Beautiful food,
Magical food,
Glorious food!

That song (either the classical or the funny version of it) was always - I mean ALWAYS - in my head there. 10 days in Siwa made me realize that what I used to eat through the last 26 years of my life is anything but "food"!!

"Make sure to eat Siwe food as much as you could", a friend told me days before my trip. I found it strange that this be his major tip for me. Now I know what he was talking about. So, here, and on couple posts coming up later, I'll talk about the fabulous, magical, glorious food I've enjoyed.

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Abou Mardan:

Or Mandy, or Abou Mardam, or whatever this heavenly thing called!

Here is a quite interesting story..

It started in early 2012, when I got the chance to meet Tamer Ashry in a  Making Documentary Films crush course he was instructing. I checked couple of his work, and this one, somehow, sticked in my mind.


My first reaction was "WOW! Is there's really such thing in Egypt!". It made me so curios to explore Egypt and its people lifestyles. And for days I kept wondering if I'd ever get the chance to try it someday.. Never imagined that I'm destined to try it twice, in two days, in row, after almost two and a half years!

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It was almost afternoon, when we (me and my friends) got invited on lunch. We barely arrived on the perfect time to see the final process of digging out the fabulous meal out of the sands. 

Siwa Oasis Food Glorious Food - Abou Mardan - By Yasmen Refaat El-Shaa'rawy

The wind was a bit strong that day, so in order to prevent sand from getting into the food, Amm Youssuf, poured some water in the wind direction to make sand-mud that can't be moved by wind.

Siwa Oasis Food Glorious Food - Abou Mardan - By Yasmen Refaat El-Shaa'rawy

Now, the lamb meat is ready. I wasn't really hungry, yet the moment I smelled it I was starving! 

Siwa Oasis Food Glorious Food - Abou Mardan - By Yasmen Refaat El-Shaa'rawy

And here comes the rice. It was beneath the lamb to absorbs its flavor and broth.

Siwa Oasis Food Glorious Food - Abou Mardan - By Yasmen Refaat El-Shaa'rawy

Green salad, Tehena, Baba Ghanog, and potato chips as appetizers.

Siwa Oasis Food Glorious Food - Abou Mardan - By Yasmen Refaat El-Shaa'rawy

After we ate like never before, it was time of enjoying sunset with the special siwe tea.

Siwa Oasis Food Glorious Food - Abou Mardan - By Yasmen Refaat El-Shaa'rawy

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Tip: Scrub your hand in clean sand to get rid of all the lamb's smell and fats when you finish your meal. It works way much better than soup and wipes. This is something I've learned in my first night at Baharyia Oasis desert.

Tip (2): In case you wish to try it yourself. Not very sure that there's restaurants in Siwa that offers Abou Mardan in their daily menu. However, you can arrange it with the hotel or the camp you'll stay in. 

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The night before that, I tried the same meal but with chicken not lamb. I'm more into chicken than lamp or beef, yet both were more than amazing. 

The funny thing is, I recalled Ashry's film that night, but somehow I thought that this meal is popular in Sinai, not Siwa! And all that night I kept guessing how a meal managed its way to move all the distance from east to west!!

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Oh, one more thing, It was also my first time ever to see a real Karkade plant. It's a beauty indeed..

Karkade Plant - By Yasmen Refaat El-Shaa'rawy

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More about the glorious food of Siwa coming up soon..

More photos in much better quality of that day on my Flicker here: flic.kr/s/aHskhTjfk3
& on my Behance here: http://on.be.net/1ht6PHk


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