Mumbai: There’s an old saying in Jordan: “Even when you’re full, you can still always eat 40 more bites of food.” Food is a very important aspect of Jordanian culture and is held as a community event with immediate and extended family present. In addition, food is commonly used by Jordanians to express their hospitality and generosity, food is served with great pride irrespective of how modest their means may be. Typically, 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 festivity is marked with dishes, spread out and served to the guests.
Here is a list of our suggestions of the food items that one should not miss when in Jordan:
1. Mezze Platter: Mezze is a Persian word which means “to taste”. As the name indicates, you get to ‘taste’ a variety of food in a platter. The highlights of which are: Falafel (a combination of ground chickpeas, mixed with a variety of spices, then deep fried into a mini patties); Hummus (cooked, mashed chickpeas, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic); Labneh (thick, sour and creamy yoghurt dip); and other meat kebabs.
2. Limonana: Also known as Frozen Mint Lemonade, Limonana is a popular summer drink of Jordan, made from freshly-squeezed lemon, spearmint leaves and ice. Although it’s super simple to make, there is a trick to it; the key to the perfect Limonana is in the ratio of lemon to sugar to water.
3. Mansaf: The traditional Jordanian dish- Mansaf, is made of lamb cooked in a sauce of fermented dried yogurt and served with rice or bulgur.
4. Manakish: Manakish, a popular food in Jordan consists of rolled dough topped with thyme, cheese, or ground meat and is similar to a pizza.
5. Kanafeh: Kanafeh is a traditional dessert made with thin noodle-like pastry, or alternatively fine semolina dough, soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup, and typically layered with goeey melted cheese– the combination of sweet and salty makes it a treat to remember.
6. Arabic coffee – Al-Qahwa- “Al-Qahwa”, is made from coffee beans roasted and then flavoured with cardamom, which makes this traditional beverage an all-time favourite in Jordan. It is often served with dates or candied fruit.