A good example of imperceptible diffusion is the Cairo kushuri, an ever-popular street food, a dish of rice and lentils, often bulked up with the even cheaper macaroni, served with a garnish of fried onion and spicy sauces. I have not been able to find any satisfactory accounts of the origin of this dish in Egypt. I can only assume that it is the Indian kitchri, also made from rice and lentils and spices. And it must have reached Cairo through the British forces. Long before the hamburger and the fried chicken, colonial circulation spawned a popular staple which Cairo made its own.
© the Estate of Alan Davidson 1999, 2006, 2014 © in the Editor’s contribution to the second and third editions, Oxford University Press 2006, 2014.