4.302 Stuffed Pigeon + Plain Okra Tajin

-Cycle 4, Item 302-
3 (Sun) November 2013

Stuffed Pigeon + Plain Okra Tajin


at Abou Shakra (Stars Centre)

-Nasr City, Cairo-


Day 2 (see previously 4.301 Arabic Spiced Chicken Kofta...).

Arrived safely.

I'll be in Cairo through Thursday (leaving Friday).  Here to attend the 1st Experts' Consultation on Public Health Law in the (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Region.  The project that we launched at WPRO (Western Pacific Regional Office) in Manila exactly three and a half years ago tomorrow (see 2.120 Pork Goulash), which has since taken me to Phnom Penh, Vientiane, Sri Lanka, and Wuhan, has been adopted/adapted by EMRO here in Cairo.  Some of the original experts were called to consult.  Cool.  Let's hope that the other regional offices--AFRO in Brazzaville, SEARO (Southeast Asia) in New Delhi, EURO in Copenhagen, and PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) in Washington DC--soon come calling.

Palm trees and sphynxes in the lobby.

The view from my room; the swimming pool features a pyramid, of course.

Sorry, but seeing Egyptians working with shovels and pickaxes instantly reminded me of Raiders of the Lost Ark, and now I can't get that song out of my head.

With alcohol being quasi-illegal in Egypt, I wonder what housekeeping will think of this.

In the drawer, a sticker showing the direction of Mecca.

For the first time ever, I was a bit worried about the destination, in light of all the political turmoil in the country and the region these days.  Fortunately, they put us up in the Intercontinental Cairo Citystars, which is located in Nasr City, an outer district of Cairo, away from all the hubbub, near EMRO.  The hotel is attached to Stars Centre, one of the biggest shopping malls in Africa, so we wouldn't have to venture outside in search of eats.  Looks like I won't be seeing much of the city this time.

Abou Shakra is a chain Egyptian Restaurant.  A branch is located in Citystars Centre.  The menu was written in English, accompanied by pictures, most of the standards offered.  The prices seemed reasonable, around EGP 30-40 (about USD 4-5) (though that's somewhat pricy by local standards) per main course item.  Just what I was looking for.

Stuffed pigeon is an Egyptian dish.  Whole pigeon, stuffed with seasoned rice, grilled.

Tajin (tagine) is a broad category of North African stews.  Typically tomato and/or curry based, with onion/eggplant/potato/bean, sometimes lamb/chicken.  Named after the conically lidded earthenware vessel in which they're traditionally cooked.

Free flatbreads--nice.

Like samgyetang, sorta, or not.

Those are lemon halves, conveniently wrapped in muslin to catch the seeds.

As one of the guest judges declared: "Embrace the slime!" 

The stuffed pigeon was okay.  Not much meat, dry, mostly crispy skin.  The rice was fluffy, aromatic, but nothing to rave about.

I don't know why I keep ordering pigeon (see also 4.291 A Palatial Feast for One), which I actually don't like.

The tajin was also okay.  I got it with okra, even though I also don't like okra, only because the Iron Chef America episode that had been playing in the hotel room a few minutes earlier had been "Battle: Okra."  The slime was barely noticeable.  The tomato sauce made for a nice counterpart to the pigeon, rice, and potatoes from the main dish.  


  1. quite the world traveler these days. nice! what's up with alcohol being quasi-illegal?

  2. well, islam prohibits drinking. so booze, in most muslim countries, is generally unavailable in mainstream restaurants/stores. but most countries make exceptions for hotels and places where foreigners would go.

    during our meeting, we were discussing the 4 "best buys" recognized by WHO to reduce non-communicable diseases in the world--namely, reducing fatty food, salty food, tobacco, alcohol--and everyone in the room seemed to take for granted that alcohol was a zero problem in the region, better to be replaced with something like polluted water.

  3. as for world traveling, i really wish that i'd started this blog a few years earlier when i was going to europe on a regular basis--i could've had around 50 posts from Geneva, 30 from various cities in France, 10 from London, 5 from Florence, 2 from Frankfurt.

    as it is, i look like an asian provincial bumpkin.

  4. not to mention New York, Chicago, Washington, and of course LA and VEGAS!!!