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A typical Jordanian breakfast. Hummus, falafel, salad, pickles and khubz (pita)
A typical Jordanian breakfast. Hummus, falafel, salad, pickles and khubz (pita)

Jordanian cuisine is a Middle Eastern cuisine that has the traditional style of food preparation originating from, or commonly used in, Jordan that has developed through centuries of social and political change.

There are a wide variety of techniques used in Jordanian cuisine ranging from baking, sautéeing and grilling to stuffing of vegetables (courgettes, capsicum, eggplants, etc.). Meat is an important component of Jordanian cuisine. The most common types of meat in Jordan are lamb, beef, chicken and sometimes goat and camel meat. Also common in Jordanian cuisine is roasting or preparing foods with special sauces.

Rice plays an important role in Jordanian cuisine. It is commonly served as a side dish to main meals, but there are also plenty of one-pot rice dishes such as maqloubah.[1]

As one of the largest producers of olives in the world,[2] olive oil is the main cooking oil in Jordan. Herbs, garlic, onion, tomato sauce and lemon are typical flavors found in Jordan.

The blend of spices called za'atar[3] contains a common local herb called sumac[4] that grows wild in Jordan and is closely identified with Jordanian and other Middle Eastern countries.

Yogurt is commonly served alongside food and is a common ingredient itself; in particular, jameed, a form of dried yogurt is unique to Jordanian cuisine and a main ingredient in mansaf[5][6] the national dish of Jordan,[7][8] and a symbol in Jordanian culture for generosity.

Another famous meat dish in Jordan is zarb.[9] It is especially popular in areas inhabited by Bedouin tribes such as Petra and the desert of Wadi Rum where it is commonly served to tourists.[10] Zarb is prepared in a submerged oven called a taboon, and is considered a delicacy. It consists of a selection of meat (usually chicken and lamb), vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, carrots, potatoes) and is served with rice and various meze, such as tabbouleh salad.[11]

Internationally known foods which are common and popular everyday snacks in Jordan include hummus, which is a purée of chick peas blended with tahini, lemon, and garlic, and falafel, a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas.

A typical mezze includes foods such as kibbeh, labaneh, baba ghanoush, tabbouleh, olives and pickles. Bread, rice, freekeh and bulgur all have a role in Jordanian cuisine.

Popular desserts include as baklava, knafeh, halva and qatayef (a dish made specially for Ramadan), in addition to seasonal fruits such as watermelons, figs and cactus pear which are served in summer.[12]

Turkish coffee and tea flavored with mint or sage are almost ubiquitous in Jordan. Arabic coffee is also usually served on more formal occasions.[13]

History

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (October 2021)

Food culture and traditions

Jordanian cuisine is a part of Levantine cuisine and shares many traits and similarities with the cuisine of Lebanon, Palestine and Syria, often with some local variations. More generally Jordanian cuisine is influenced by historical connections to the cuisine of Turkey and the former Ottoman Empire. Jordanian cuisine is also influenced by the cuisines of groups who have made a home for themselves in modern Jordan, including Armenians, Circassians, Iraqis, Palestinians, and Syrians.[14][15]

Food is a very important aspect of Jordanian culture. In villages, meals are a community event with immediate and extended family present. In addition, food is commonly used by Jordanians to express their hospitality and generosity. Jordanians serve family, friends, and guests with great pride in their homes, no matter how modest their means. A "Jordanian invitation" means that one is expected to bring nothing and eat everything.

Celebrations in Jordan are marked with dishes from Jordanian cuisine spread out and served to the guests. Customs such as weddings, birth of a child, funerals, birthdays and specific religious and national ceremonies such as Ramadan and Jordan's independence day all call for splendid food to be served to guests. To celebrate the birth of a child, karawiya, a caraway-flavoured pudding, is commonly served to guests.

Jordanian culinary

Main dishes

Freekeh with roasted vegetables
Freekeh with roasted vegetables
Mujaddara
Name Description
Al-rashoof (الرشوف) A winter meal consisting of coarse wheat flour, lentils and yogurt, popular in northern Jordan.
Athan al-shayeb (أذان الشايب) Meaning "the ears of the old gray-haired man". It is a pasta or jiaozi dish described as a local variation of ravioli. After being stuffed with ground beef and spices, thin wheat dough parcels are cooked with jameed then served hot. Another name for this dish is shishbarak.
Bamya (بامية) Okra cooked with tomato sauce and onions, served with rice and lamb.
Burghul ahmar (البرغل الأحمر) Bulgur cooked in tomato sauce and served with poultry.
Burghul bzeit (برغل بالزيت) Bulgur cooked in olive oil and served with poultry.
Fasoulya beyda (الفاصوليا البيضاء) White beans cooked in tomato sauce and served with rice.
Fasoulya khadra (فاصوليا خضراء) Green beans cooked in tomato sauce and served with rice.
Fatteh (الفتّه ) Stack of khubz (bread), topped by strained yogurt, steamed chickpeas and olive oil that are crushed and mixed together.
Freekeh (فريكة) Served with poultry or meat. Meat is fried in oil and braised with water, salt, and cinnamon bark. Then dried coriander is stirred in with freekeh and cooked.
Galayet bandora (قلاية بندورة) Tomatoes sauteed and stewed with onions, olive oil, salt, and hot peppers, it can be served with rice but is more commonly eaten with bread in Jordan.
Haneeth (stuffed baby lamb) (محشوة الضأن الرضيع) A popular dish in Jordan, which people enjoy as a big and heavy meal. It consists of roasted lamb, stuffed with rice, chopped onions, nuts and raisins.
Kabsa (الكبسة) Made from a mixture of spices, rice (usually long-grain, mostly basmati), meat and vegetables.
Kebab (كباب) Roasted or grilled, also known as mashawi. A mixed grill of barbecued meats such as kebab and shish taouk.
Kofta b'bandoora (كفتة بالبندورة) Spiced, ground meat baked in tomato sauce and served with rice.
Kofta b'tahini (كفتة الطحينة) Spiced, ground meat baked in a sea of tahini, topped with thinly sliced potatoes and pine nuts and served with rice.
Kousa mahshi (كوسا محشي) Rice and minced meat stuffed in zucchinis. Usually served with chicken and wara' aynab (also called dawali).
Maftul (مفتول) Large couscous-like balls, garbanzo beans and chicken pieces cooked in chicken broth.
Malfuf (ملفوف) Rice and minced meat rolled in cabbage leaves.
Mansaf (المنسف) The national dish of Jordan and their most distinctive food. Mansaf is a traditional dish made of lamb cooked in a sauce of fermented dried yogurt called jameed and served with rice or bulgur.
Maqluba/Magluba (مقلوبة) A casserole made of layers of rice, vegetables and meat. After cooking, the pot is flipped upside-down onto the plate when served, hence the name maqluba which translates literally as "upside-down".
Mujaddara (مجدرة) Lentil and rice casserole, garnished with roasted onions.
Mulukhiyah (ملوخية) The leaves of Corchorus used as a vegetable.
Musakhan (مسخّن) Dish composed of roasted chicken baked with onions, sumac, allspice, saffron, and fried pine nuts served over taboon bread. It is also known as muhammar (Arabic: محمر).
Musaqa'h (مسقعة) Various Levantine variations of the Mediterranean dish are cooked in Jordan.
Warag aynab (sarma) (ورق العنب) Grape leaves filled with herbed, minced vegetables, meat and rice, cooked with olive oil. Sometimes called dawali.
Zarb (زارب) Bedouin barbecue. Meat and vegetables cooked in a large underground pit.

Mezze

A bowl of falafel
A bowl of falafel

By far the most dominant style of eating in Jordan, mezze is the small plate, salad, appetizer, community style eating, aided by dipping, dunking and otherwise scooping with bread. Mezze plates are typically rolled out before larger main dishes.[16]

In a typical Jordanian mezze you might find any combination of the following:

Name Description
Arab salad (سلطة عربية) Combines many different vegetables and spices.
Baba ghanoush (بابا غنوج) Eggplant mixed with onions, tomatoes, olive oil and various seasonings.
Bagdonsyyeh (بقدونسية) Parsley blended with tahini and lemon juice, usually served with seafood.
Falafel (فلافل) Balls of fried chickpea flour and Middle-Eastern spice. Dipped in every mezze, especially hummus. The Jordanian falafel balls tend to come in smaller sizes.
Fattoush (فتوش) A salad made from toasted or fried pieces of pita bread combined with mixed greens and other vegetables, such as lettuce, radish and tomato.
Ful medames (فول مدمس) Crushed fava beans served with a variety of toppings such as olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, chili pepper, sumac and more.
Halloumi (حلوم) Semi-soft white cheese. Not quite as salty, crumbly and dry as feta cheese, but similar.
Hummus (الحمص) Chick peas boiled and blended to perfect smoothness with tahini paste, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and perhaps topped with a little parsley.
Khobbeizeh (خبيزه) Little mallow cooked with olive oil.
Kibbeh (كبة) Herbed, minced meat covered in a crust of bulgur (crushed wheat), then fried. Shaped like an American football.
Kibbeh labaniyyeh (كبه لبنيه) A minced meat and bulgur mixture similar to ordinary kubbeh, but boiled with Jordanian jameed.
Kibbeh nayyeh (كبة نية) A minced meat and bulgur mixture similar to ordinary kubbeh, but the meat is served raw.
Labaneh jarashiyyeh (لبنه جرشيه) Literally "labaneh from Jerash". Creamy yogurt, so thick it can be spread on flat bread to make a sandwich.
Makdous/Magdous (مكدوس) Stuffed pickled eggplant, said to increase appetite.
Manakish/ Managish (مناقيش) Flatbread dough usually topped with olive oil and za’atar spice blend. Other varieties may include cheese or ground meat and in this case it's called sfiha.
Moutabal (متبل) Roasted, puréed potato or eggplant with garlic.
Olive oil (زيت الزيتون) One of the cornerstones of Jordanian food. For breakfast, Jordanians dip flatbread into the olive oil, then into the za'atar.
Pickled vegetables (خضروات مخللة) Jordanians enjoy pickled anything—carrots, radishes, cucumbers, cauliflower, and whatever other pickle-worthy vegetables might be around. Just about every mezze features a plate of these to add some tang and tart to the meal.
Samosa (ساموسا) Fried dough balls stuffed with meat, pine nuts and onions.
Tabbouleh (تبولة) Vegetarian dish traditionally made of tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint, bulgur and onion, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Some variations add garlic or lettuce, or use couscous instead of bulgur.
Tursu or (Mokhalal) (طرشي) A certain type of alkhdharat soaked in water and salt in a pot and drawn from the air for the week such as cucumber and cabbage, eggplant flower, carrot, radish, onion, lemon, olives, chili and beans.
Warag aynab (أوراق العنب) Vine leaves filled with herbed, minced vegetables, meat and rice.
Yalanji (يلنجي) Plate composed of vine leaves stuffed principally with rice.
Za'atar (زعتر) A mixture of thyme and sesame seeds. Oregano, sage, or sumac can also be mixed in.
Zaitun (زيتون) Literally olive.

Salads

Tabbouleh
Tabbouleh
Name Description
Arab salad (سلطة العربية) Salad with tomato, cucumber, onion, mint, olive oil and lemon juice.
Babba ghanoush (بابا غنوج) Roasted eggplant, cut into pieces and tossed with tomatoes and onions.
Fattoush (فتوش) Chopped vegetable salad (tomato, cucumber, radish, etc.) tossed with pieces of dry or fried flatbread and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice and sumac.
Olive salad (سلطة الزيتون) Olives cut with carrots, green pepper, chili, dressed with olive oil.
Rocket salad (سلطة جرجير) Rucola (arugula, rocket) leaves in Jordan are quite large, tossed with olive oil and lemon.
Tabbouleh (تبولة) Finely chopped parsley and mint tossed with bulgur, tomatoes, onion and seasoned with olive oil and lemon juice.

Soups

In Jordan, meals are usually started with soups. Jordanian soups are usually named after their main ingredient such as:

Name Description
Adas soup (شوربة عدس) Served hot. Smashed brown, red or green lentils with chicken or meat broth and several varieties of spices. Other ingredients may include vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, celery, parsley, and onion.
Freekeh soup (شوربة فريكة) Served hot. Is a soup with Freekeh (green wheat), chicken or meat broth and several varieties of spices.

Sandwiches

Name Description
Ara'yes (العرايس) Literally meaning "bride", ara’yes are spicy mincemeat-filled oven-baked flatbread sandwiches.
Falafel (فلافل) Fresh bread filled or wrapped with falafel, hummus, tomato and pickles.
Managish (مناقيش) Taboon bread topped with za'atar and olive oil.
Mo'ajanat (معجنات) Pies filled with cheese, spinach, za'atar or beef.
Sambusak (سمبوسك) Fried dough balls stuffed with cheese or meat with pine nuts and onions.
Sfiha (صفيحة) Flatbread topped with ground beef and red peppers.
Shawarma (الشاورما) Herbed and spiced chicken, lamb or beef on a spindle, sliced and then wrapped in flatbread, served with vegetables, tahini and hot sauce.

Bread

Sweets

Beverages

See also

References

  1. ^ "12 Besst Jordanian Dishes to Try in Jordan". 22 February 2022.
  2. ^ "Top 25 Olive Oil Producing Countries". Peas Health. Archived from the original on 7 July 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Saudi Aramco World : Thyme Travels". www.saudiaramcoworld.com. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  4. ^ "Saudi Aramco World : Jordan's Legendary Musakahan". www.saudiaramcoworld.com. Archived from the original on 2012-05-07. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  5. ^ "Women keep Jordan's traditions alive". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  6. ^ "DIMA SHARIF: Jordanian Mansaf - More than just Food, It Is a Social Tradition!". www.dimasharif.com. Archived from the original on 2015-12-02. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  7. ^ "Jordan National Dish, Mansaf". Archived from the original on 26 July 2017. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Mansaf". Archived from the original on 2011-08-20. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  9. ^ "Saudi Aramco World : Jordan's Legendary Musakahan". www.saudiaramcoworld.com. Archived from the original on 2012-05-07. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  10. ^ "Wadi Rum Desert Jordan". 23 January 2020.
  11. ^ "Jordanian meze and side dish: tabbouleh salad". 6 February 2022.
  12. ^ "In ripe summer fruits, northern farmers see upside of hot weather | Jordan Times". www.jordantimes.com. Retrieved 2015-10-28.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Minimalistic Coffee and Tea in Jordan". Ottsworld Unique Travel Experiences. 24 January 2011. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  14. ^ "| The Flavors of Jordan". Archived from the original on 2015-09-10. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  15. ^ "the tanjara: book on jordanian food". thetanjara.blogspot.nl. 16 May 2006. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  16. ^ Daniel Noll (24 March 2011). "Jordan Food (An Overview of Jordanian Cuisine)". Uncornered Market. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  17. ^ "Vegetarian Food Guide to the Middle East". A Little Adrift. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  18. ^ "فوائد صحية كثيرة في فنجان شاي أردني". الشرق الاوسط. لندن. 2017-02-22. Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  19. ^ "شاي الغزالين التسمية". mdar.co. November 11, 2015.