Food from Jordan

Soups, salads and mezze from one of Petra's finest traditional chefs

Soups, salads and mezze from one of Petra's finest traditional chefs
Close to the gates to the famous Petra there is a food lovers outpost. The Petra Kitchen is where you can learn to cook like locals in the company of other like minded tourists. Here follows a few sample recipes.

Shourbat soup lentil soup

1 cup of brown lentils
tspn salt
cup olive oil
cup parsley, finely chopped
6 cups of water
1 onion, finely chopped
tspn cumin
dash of pepper

1. Rinse lentils and drain. Place in a saucepan with the water over medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for half an hour.

2. Remove from heat; strain the lentil mixture through a vegetable strainer.

3. Return the pureed lentil mixture to pot; cook over medium heat and stir in cumin, salt and pepper.

4. Brown the chopped onion in oil, then add to the lentil mixture.

5. Cook the lentils and onion over medium heat for five minutes only.

6. Sprinkle the soup with chopped parsley and croutons.


500g tomatoes
3 cups parsley, finely chopped
cup olive oil
lemon juice (vary to taste)
1 cup burghul (cracked wheat)
2 large onions
3 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
1 tspn salt

1. Remove any stones you might find in the cracked wheat, then wash and drain it well by squeezing it with your hands. Set aside.

2. Chop tomatoes very fine and sprinkle them with salt.

3. Chop onions very fine and add to tomatoes.

4. Add parsley and mint leaves. Stir together with the burghul. Add lemon juice and olive oil and mix well.

5. Serve on a bed of lettuce or cabbage leaves with garnish.

Sambousek b'jibn cheesy triangles

For the sambousek (dough):
2 cups of flour
tspn salt
2 tspn active dry yeast
cup warm water
pinch of sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil

1. Dissolve yeast in four teaspoons of warm water until smooth.

2. Sift sugar, salt and flour into large bowl. Pour yeast water, oil and remaining warm water into centre of bowl.

3. Mix well by hand until smooth. Transfer to floured flat surface and knead well by hand.

4. Place a mixture in oiled bowl. Cover with clean cloth, and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size.

5. Return dough to floured flat surface and knead well again. Divide dough into small balls and roll flat into eight inch (20cm) circles.

6. Flute edges of each circle with your fingertips.
To make the sambousek b'jibn (cheesy triangles) fillings.
cup grated gruyere cheese or feta cheese (vary to taste)
1 cup grated white cheese
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tspn sesame seeds

1. Mix stuffing ingredients together and stir well. Place one heaped tablespoon of stuffing onto each dough circle. Fold dough to form a rounded triangle.

2. Pan fry in oil until golden in colour, turning to cook each side.

3. Serve hot.

Hint: keep prepared triangles under damp paper towel until ready to cook to avoid drying out.
Planning for guests? Prepare sambousek in advance and freeze prepared pastries before frying. Thaw and fry before the big event.

Kaafta bil Tahinah baked ground meat in tahinan sauce

500g ground beef
1 cup parsley, chopped
1 large onion
1 tspn salt
pinch of pepper

For the sauce:

cup tahinah (sesame seed paste)
cup lemon juice
1 tbspn salt
1 cup water
cup of pine nuts

1. Peel and finely chop the onion. Mix ground meat, parsley, onion and seasoning knead well.

2. Grease a round (40cm baking dish). Place the meat mixture in the baking dish and pat down until smooth and covering the bottom of the baking dish.

3. In a bowl, beat with a fork the water, oil, salt, tahinah and lemon juice.

4. Pour the above sauce onto the meat and garnish with the pine nuts.

5. Bake in a hot oven for 30 minutes. Serve hot with chunky potato wedges.

Find more details about Petra Kitchen here. The Petra Kitchen..