Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Jordanian cuisine

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Covid-19
Jordanian cuisine

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

Contents

There is wide variety of techniques used in Jordanian cuisine ranging from baking, sautéeing and grilling to stuffing of vegetables (carrots, leaves, eggplants, etc.), meat, and poultry. Also common in Jordanian cuisine is roasting or preparing foods with special sauces.

As one of the largest producers of olives in the world, olive oil is the main cooking oil in Jordan. Herbs, garlic, onion, tomato sauce and lemon are typical flavours found in Jordan. The blend of spices called za'atar contains a common local herb called Sumac that grows wild in Jordan and ia closely identified with Jordanian and other Mideastern cuisines. 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 the national dish of Jordan, and a symbol in Jordanian culture for generosity.

Another famous Meat dish in Southern Jordan especially in the Bedouin Desert area of Petra and Wadi Rum is the Zarb which is prepared in a submerged oven also called a "taboon". It is considered a delicacy of that area.

Internationally known foods which are common and popular everyday snacks in Jordan include hummus, which is a puree 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.

Turkish coffee and tea flavored with mint or sage are almost ubiquitous in Jordan. Arabic coffee is also usually served on more formal occasions. Arak, an aniseed flavoured spirit is also drunk with food.

Food culture and traditions

Jordanian cuisine is part of Levantine cuisine and shares many traits and similarities with the cuisine of Lebanon, Palestine and Syrian, 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, Syrians.

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 you are expected to bring nothing and eat everything.

Most of the celebrations in Jordan are exceptionally diverse in nature and quite festive at the same time. Each celebration is marked with dishes from Jordanian cuisine spread out and served to the guests. There are many traditional small gatherings in Jordan too; even in those gatherings a lot of meals are served. 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.

Mezze

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.

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

Soups

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

Bread

  • Abud: A dense, unleavened traditional Jordanian Bedouin bread baked directly in a wood fire by burying in ash and covering with hot embers.
  • Ka'ak: Is a traditional Jordanian bread made mostly in a large leaf or ring-shape and is covered with sesame seeds.
  • Karadeesh: Is a traditional Jordanian bread made from corn.
  • Khubz (Pita): Literally, “generic” bread. Bread with pockets.
  • Taboon: a flatbread wrap used in many cuisines. It is traditionally baked in a Tabun oven and eaten with different fillings. Taboon bread, also known as laffa bread, is sold as street food, stuffed with hummus, falafel or shaved meat.
  • Shrak: Is a traditional Bedouin bread that is popular in Jordan and the region as a whole. The bread is thrown to great thinness before being tossed onto a hot iron griddle called Saj that’s shaped like an inverted wok. Also known as markook.
  • Sweets

  • Baklava: A dessert made with thin layers of phyllo pastry filled with chopped nuts and soaked in honey or syrup.
  • Halva: A Middle Eastern confection made from sesame flour and milk mixed with other ingredients, typically made with pistachio.
  • Knafeh: A cheese pastry of shredded phyllo soaked in sugar-based syrup.
  • Qatayef: A sweet dumpling stuffed with cream and pistachios. Consumed during the month of Ramadan.
  • Beverages

  • Arabic coffee (Gahwa Sada): is typically the domain of the Bedouins and consists of ground fire-roasted beans and cardamom drawn thin and served in espresso-sized servings.
  • Ereq Soos: Known as Sus.
  • Lime-mint juice: Consists of Lemon and mint.
  • Qamar Eddine: Apricot juice. Usually served in Ramadan.
  • Sahlab: boiled milk with starch, covered with smashed coconut and cinnamon.
  • Shaneeneh (شنينة): Is a special refreshing Jordanian beverage, consists of salty-sour aged goat milk yogurt. Served cold.
  • Tamar Hindi: Tamarind juice.
  • Tea: Flavored with na'na or meramiyyeh.
  • Turkish-style coffee: It is significantly stronger than its Arabic brother. Water is heated in a long-handled metal cup and the grounds (and any sugar) are mixed in as the combination is brewed over a gas flame to bubbling.
  • Arak: Anise based Levantine Alcoholic beverage made of grapes.
  • References

    Jordanian cuisine Wikipedia


    Topics
     
    B
    i
    Link
    H2
    L