Egyptian ‘pita’ (aish baladi) with ta’ameya

It is a pita bread but yet its not. It is a falafel but yet its not. Know more as I walk you through this lesser known bread and its stuffing.

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So, let’s understand the comparison between pita bread and aish baladi before I get to the

other components of this recipe.

 Pita breadAish baladi
OriginsMiddle east and Mediterranean countriesEgypt (aish means “life” and baladi means “traditional”)
LooksRound flatbread with a pocketRound flatbread with a pocket
TasteSoftSoft and nuttier
IngredientsIs made with whole wheat flour as well as plain flourWas made with emmer, a specific variety of wheat in ancient times. Now the whole wheat flour is used with bran and all
Used forTo stuff meat/vegetables/falafel (that is made with chickpeas) and to scoop hummus and other saucesTo stuff meat/vegetables/ ta’ameya (that is made with fava beans) and to scoop tahini and other sauces
Cooking techniquePeel, a shovel like tool is used to slide the pita in the high oven temperature that allows the dough to expand and generate steam that helps to form the signature interior pocket it is known forPeel, a shovel like tool covered with bran is used to slide the aish baladi in the high oven temperature that allows the dough to expand and generate steam that helps to form the signature pocket is it known for

 

I first learnt about ta’ameya from my sister’s late mother in law who spent her childhood in Sudan. Unlike falafel which is primarily made of chickpeas, ta’ameya is made of fava beans. She would put dill (suva bhaji) while grinding the fava beans which gave it a unique aroma and flavour. Served with tahini sauce and a side of cucumber salad, it was lip smacking delicious. My recipe of ta’ameya is an adaptation of her recipe with few changes.

Egyptian ‘pita bread’ with ta'ameya
Egyptian ‘pita bread’ with ta’ameya

 

Going back to aish baladi, after a lot of research and trials I finally  have this recipe for you that has a combination of whole wheat bread (atta) combined with dalia (cracked wheat). The addition of broken/cracked/bulgar wheat to the whole wheat flour make the aish baladi not only nutty and flavourful but highly nutritious too. Also, I have cooked this bread on a skillet as well as on the on the skillet. I did a short video on cooking these breads on the skillet and is saved under aish baladi in the highlights of my Instagram account if you wish to have a look.

Egyptian ‘pita bread’ with ta'ameya
Egyptian ‘pita bread’ with ta’ameya

Lastly, if you have any leftover bread, do make this flavorful middle eastern salad, Fattoush, the recipe of which you can find it here. You will love it!

And yes, you are still on a food blog!!! But this comparison/information is essential to understand the difference between the falafel wrap that is world famous vs the lesser known Egyptian ‘falafel’ wrap recipe down below. I hope you will make and enjoy this as much as I do.

Egyptian ‘pita bread’ with ta'ameya
Egyptian ‘pita bread’ with ta’ameya

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may like these too.

  1. Chili peanut wontons in lemon coriander soup
  2. Crispy coconut and lemon rice (tahdig)
  3. Katlama bread (layered flatbread)
  4. Soft and healthy whole grain naan 
  5. Nepalese vegetable momos 

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Let me know how this recipe turned out for you by writing to me in the comments below. And if you take a picture, please tag me on my instagram handle @acookwithin to share your creation😊 It would make my day!

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10 thoughts on “Egyptian ‘pita’ (aish baladi) with ta’ameya”

  1. Thank you for this recipe- I really enjoyed making these (wish I could uplaod a photo on here!). Had to make a couple of subs/tweaks:

    1. I used all whole wheat bread flour (had no fine cracked wheat)
    2. Sifted a cup of the whole wheat flour to separate out the bran, which I then dipped the dough balls into before rolling out, which gave the breads a lovely rough exterior
    3. After final proof, i quickly transferred to preheated tray by hand and they still puffed right up beautifully (first time luck!)

    Was transported back to Cairo with these and so pleased to have a recipe that works!

    1. Hello Tanyeem, it is wonderful to know that the recipe worked for you. Nothing like food to transport us to back in time!! It was a wonderful idea to sift and use the bran. Genius! 🙂 Thank you so much for taking out time to write the feedback. It made my day 🙂

  2. Thank you so much Hema for the yummy pita bread you made for us yesterday. We had it with butter chicken. The pita was very soft and it tasted fantastic with the curry. 💕

  3. Thanks Hema for amazing Pita breads. They were so soft and fresh and best part just wheat. Next time I will try Dalia one. 👏👏

  4. Kanchan Gupta

    Hi Hema , I tried the pita bread. It came out very well. Had a 60 percent fluff up rate..I ha e used a cast iron tawa and followed your instructions to the T..only deviation being I rolled the breads and put them on a greased counter instead of a baking paper and lifted them with a broad spatula to move to the pan. One reason I can think of not having your kind of fluff is perhaps consistency in rolling and some shift in consistency while lifting from the counter and placing on the pan. Any other reasons ? Nonetheless we enjoyed the pita pockets thoroughly with falafel, hummus and tabouleh !

    1. Hi Kanchan,
      I am glad the recipe worked out for you. Pita/aish baladi bread is ‘temperamental’ 🙂 I have made so many times and yet haven’t had full 100% fluff up rate. The reason why I suggested baking/grease proof paper is because post second proofing, the bread is extremely fragile and its best not to touch it at all. Transferring it from the counter to the skillet could have affected the fluffing. Nevertheless, I think 60% is a great rate to start off with.

  5. Hema – How much yeast do I use if I am using instant yeast ? i.e., adding directly to the flour without blooming.

    1. Hi kanchan, I use instant yeast (just edited that, thanks to you 🙂 ) too but have learnt with several failed attempts that its better to activate it first. Its better to check any yeast’s potency before wasting a whole lot of flour amongst other things. And that is also the reason why I split the liquid ratio, especially if I am working with milk.

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