As one of the most essential side-dishes on any Egyptian table, torshi is held in high regard. No self-respecting falafel restaurant would serve your fuul and ta’ameya sandwiches without the quintessential plate of varied turnips, carrot, and cucumber pickles. Most Egyptian dishes aren’t the same without their torshi sidekicks! If you’re new to Egypt and wonder what the difference between torshi and pickles is, preservers are never the same from one region to the other, and the pickling process, as well as the ingredients used, also vary significantly. When it comes to the Middle East, and Egypt in particular, torshi is made with garlic, chilli peppers, vinegar, dried aromatic herbs, salt, and black pepper. The pickled vegetables can be anything from turnips to beets, celery, cauliflower, carrots, baby onions, cabbage, and aubergine. The sky’s the limit.
So if you’re new to Cairo or (rightfully) reluctant to get store-bought jarred pickles, no worries, we got you the best torshi-makers around the city!
One of the most well-known and sought-after torshi shops around the city, Rosia has built a reputation so strong that the lines formed in front of it every Ramadan would make you think the shop is giving away free meat. Spicy, strong, and varied, Rosia’s torshi deserves every bit of its reputation. You can find it in its original shop in Hadayek el Quba, but there’s another branch now in Obour as well!
You can also follow it here.
El Hareef (Sayeda Zeinab)
One of the oldest torshi-making and selling places in Cairo lies in Sayeda Zeinab, where the original shop still stands 88 years later. Now, it branched out to Maadi and 10th of Ramadan. With the profession passing down three generations, the makers with their family recipes can be trusted to make perfectly distinctive torshi of all kinds.
Torshi El Horeya
Right across from Abdeen Palace in Downtown Cairo stands another century-old torshi spot. Torshi El Horeya, also known as Torshi el-Malek as it was called before the 1952 revolution, still stands to this day. It’s so special that it came to be known as “The Celebrities’ Torshi Maker”, as Egyptian stars, old and young, frequent the place for their torshi fix!
You can follow it here.
Try Making Your Own at Home!
It’s less common to make your own torshi at home these days, but there’s a reason our mothers and grandmothers made it so often! So, for the last option, how about giving that age-old tradition a try? It’s not difficult to make, and even though it can be time-consuming, it’s very rewarding, and the more time you take for one or two days, the more you’ll have at home for months (or even years!) to come. The final and best reason is you’ll also get to have it the exact way you want it! Some people like it sour, salty, or spicy, which might not always be easy to accommodate if you’re buying from a store. There are a lot of different recipes out there, but for a start, you can go with this pickled turnip recipe, or this one for pickled cucumber.