Jordan cuisine, food and drink
Not very original: the most common dishes served in Jordan are largely influenced by Egyptian, Lebanese, Turkish, Iraqi and Syrian cuisines.
In recent years, we have witnessed a revival in a few restaurants in the capital. Old recipes brought up to date.
- The staple food is arabic bread (khobz, or pita), generally excellent, especially if it's hot. It is always round, in the form of a pancake, but variable in size, thickness and cooking.
- The mezes: these are cold or hot starters, of Lebanese origin, presented in different cups: hummus (mashed chickpeas in olive oil), tabouleh (chopped tomatoes, mint and parsley), foul (garlic beans , seasoned with oil and lemon) ...
- Another common starter, which almost constitutes a meal: falafels, lightly spiced and then fried chickpea croquettes, usually served in bread, with different salads.
Fulfilling the same function, there are also samboussek, small triangular pâtés stuffed with spinach or cheese, sometimes with potatoes.
- It's simple : mouton (or lamb) or chicken. It is served most of the time in the form of skewers: the famous kebab. Here consists of mutton (always) minced and mixed with herbs, molded into a kind of sausage, also planted on a skewer.
As for the chicken, it is served grilled in halves, roasted or on skewers (chich taouk). We sometimes find beef. No pork, of course.
- For a change: we naturally find fish on the coast (Aqaba), depending on fishing arrivals. Expensive.
- Green vegetables are quite rare. The most common garnish is rice, but the fries have conquered restaurants.
- At dessert or, more exactly, for a snack: a thousand and one kinds of baklava, these little sweets coated with sugar that create curves ... Variants: with nuts, pistachios, almonds, etc. Very popular, the konafa, bright orange angel hair, stuffed with either soft and melted goat cheese.
In the Palestinian fried dessert pa made of a kind of pa are mostly prepared on the occasion of Ramadan. More common in restaurants: custards and jellies.
The most common fruits are dates, figs, oranges, tangerines (in winter), apples and bananas.
- Shawarma: Bread stuffed with mutton (cooked on a spit) or grilled chicken, topped with onions and tomatoes, and topped with a white sauce. Very popular is the local sandwich.
- Kefta: minced mutton or beef, mixed with onions and parsley. Add either tomatoes and potatoes, or tahineh (sesame puree) before putting the dish in the oven.
- Gallayeh: hot dish made from tomatoes, onions, garlic, chicken (or mutton), sometimes peppers. Easy to cook, it is called the “bachelor's dish”.
- Maglouba: the word means “upside down” (we will often say this in English: upside down). Recipe based on chicken, rice, vegetables and spices.
- Mensaf: it is the Jordanian festive dish, inherited from the Bedouins. Mensaf comes in the form of a large plate of rice covered with pine nuts, to which are added pieces of lamb (or chicken) simmered in a stew, all drizzled with a whitish sauce (like hot yogurt) to base of goat curd and fat. A little strong in taste the first time. Traditionally eaten with the right hand, making dumplings with the rice.
- Without forgetting the different simmered dishesAs fasuliya (green or white beans, in sauce). As is often the case, home cooking is more varied than the endless dishes displayed on the restaurant menus.
- Rarer: the Jordanian couscous (called maftoul, name of the semolina grains rolled by hand), different from couscous from North Africa, in particular by the quality of the semolina.
- If you have the opportunity, do not hesitate to feast on dishes specific to a few minorities: the ma'aroufeyeh (Azraq Druze specialty), a crushed wheat pilaf with tomato and flavored with sage; the qajoy jabkha, a cheese spiced with chilli, or zatej, sort of donut sprinkled with syrup (Circassian specialties).
- Water: avoid tap water, although it is known to be drinkable. The country produces its own mineral water (very good Ghadeer and Sama among others), thanks to the presence of springs. You might as well buy it in a grocery store and in a pack, cheaper than the bottle sold near the sites. You can also use a gourd.
- Juice : sold in street stalls. Attractive with their beautiful colors, but not always terrible and often with the addition of tap water.
- Sahlab: Jordanians drink it in winter, especially during Ramadan. It is a fairly thick, sweet, milk-based drink with the addition of local cornstarch and served hot. It is sprinkled with either coconut or pistachios. It's excellent and it stalls her man.
- Coffee in small sips so you don't end up with the grounds in your mouth. It is generally sweet during preparation: specify whether you want it very sweet, moderately sweet or without sugar. Often flavored with cardamom.
- Thépensee, because tradition demands it. The nec is still the traditional tea (baladi) prepared by families and Bedouins, with a lot of sugar. It is sometimes supplemented with miramiyé (sage), an herb that gives it a bitter taste.
- Wine: Orient) from the Saint George Wines brand from Neas-Sarhan in the North. Otherwise most of the wines on sale in Jordan come from Palestine (“Holy Land” on the label), Israel and especially Lebanon. .
- Beer: the country brews its own beer, the Amstel, which is very common, as well as the Carakale (blonde, brown or flavored with whiskey), brewed between Amman and Salt and the Petra, rather better. The Philadelphia is more average. Be careful, when you ask for a bottle, we usually bring you a large one (50 cl)!
- Other alcohols: despite the weight of religion, Jordanians do not shy away from a drink, especially when it comes to whiskey! One of the best is the Arak Zumot.
- At the restaurant : except in Christian towns (like Madaba), only fancy restaurants serve alcohol.