Top 7 food experiences in Jordan
Sahtain! The Arabic word that means double-health and used to wish people enjoying their food was going to be the central theme of our travel to Jordan. And, it was proven right on each of the eight days that we ate our way through Jordan.
Weavobe brings you the top 7 food experiences to try in Jordan:
Kunafeh – For me, dessert always comes first. If you are one of those people who rush to the dessert counter first, at a buffet meal, you’ll get this. Kunafeh is the national dessert of Jordan and is usually prepared two ways; the crunchy and the soft. I personally loved the crunchy variety. The dessert consists of a thick layer of soft sweet cheese topped with a crunchy fried layer of vermicelli. Thick sugar syrup flavored with rose is then poured all over it. If not for the brain numbing sweetness of this dessert, I would have never stopped eating it.
Where: Try freshly made Kuknafeh at Al Nejmeh Sweet Shop for the best in the city.
Falafel Sandwiches – From the humble street side vendors to expensive 5-star restaurants, this local favorite has secured its place everywhere in Jordan. Light and fluffy (a far cry from the deep fried and greasy that you find in most restaurants in India) falafels snuggle themselves in pillowy pita smeared with hummus, topped with cucumbers, olives and pickled vegetables, to create this sandwich.
Where: We loved the Falafel Sandwich at Falafel & Potato at Rainbow Street.
Foul – Roadside vendors all over Jordanian towns are seen selling this on their carts. Foul comprises of boiled and crushed fava beans served with a variety of toppings like lemon juice, olive oil, parsley and pepper. I especially recall a cold evening on the streets of Amman, when we were drawn towards one of the carts. The fire under the boiling beans warmed my hands and the hearty Foul warmed my soul.
Where: Almost everywhere in Amman
Refresh with some Sugarcane Juice – Yes, you heard it right. Sampling the freshly squeezed sugarcane juice from one of the many juice shops in Old Amman is a must. It is thick and flavorful, unlike any sugarcane juice you’ve ever had before.
Where: For the most authentic experience, sip amongst the locals at one of the juice shops at Old Souk
Buy some spices – Even to me, an Indian food enthusiast, the variety of spices a Jordanian-spice-joint offers was surprising. The colors and the aromas added to the experience. I came home with a dozen different spices, which have conveniently found usage in my many food experiments. A few spices that are unique are Sumac, a deep maroon colored spice that has an earthy acidic flavor. Another spice that is frequently consumed in my kitchen is Za’atar which is a delicious mix of ground thyme with sesame seeds, oregano and Sumac.
Where: Walk the length of Old Amman and savor the assault to all your senses
Sip on some Jordanian tea – Almost everywhere you go to, you’ll be offered this wonderful concoction of spices like cinnamon, cardamom, dried sage and other condiments like dried Lavender flowers in hot water. The tea could be sweetened using honey. Whether it was during the upscale dining experience at Sufra, Amman or during the cold night spent under the starlit sky in the deserts of Wadi Rum, the one thing common between all these experiences was a steaming aromatic cup of Jordanian tea.
Where: Everywhere in Jordan
Cooking and Dining at The Petra Kitchen – this was an experience unlike anything you would have experienced. This restaurant, minutes away from the ruins of Petra provides you with an opportunity to cook a Jordanian meal and then pig through it. Experienced chefs patiently teach and guide you through the cooking process, which includes cooking four appetizers and four main course dishes. This experience allows you to eat your meal the way any Jordanian meal is supposed to be had; as a group.
Where: At Petra Kitchen
Find the recipe of Shorbet Khoddar, a soulful hearty vegetarian soup that we learnt at Petra Kitchen at the end of this blog. Maybe the smells wafting through your kitchen while you make it, would tug at your heartstrings and compel you to draw up a delicious travel plan to the wonderful Jordan.
Recipe for Shourbat Khodar – Four Servings
Preparation Time – 20 minutes
Cooking Time – 30 minutes
Diced zucchini – 1½ cups
Diced sweet corn – 1/2 cup
Diced carrots – 1/2 cup
Diced Potatoes – 1/2 cup
Butter – 1 teaspoons
Cinnamon and Pepper – ½ teaspoon each
Add butter to a heavy bottomed pan. Let it melt over low heat. Add the diced vegetables and sauté them for about 5 minutes. Add both Cinnamon and Pepper to the vegetable mix and cover with about 5 cups of vegetable or chicken stock. Cook for about 20 minutes over low heat. Serve hot!