Jordanian cuisine is an interesting one. It seems to consist mostly of dishes from other Middle Eastern countries, particularly Palestine and Lebanon, but also influenced by foods all over the world. This post will have a look into my experience with the foods of Jordan, however, there is one dish which is by far the most important – Mansaf.
Mansaf in the family home
With the power to both divide and unite, Mansaf is the national dish of Jordan and is very highly regarded by all its citizens. However, for foreigners and tourists, it’s a bit baffling… It’s ingredients traditionally consist of lamb with rice and a fermented dried yoghurt sauce. And yeah, you heard that right. You can find different variants of mansaf, for example some choose to serve it with chicken rather than lamb. However, what every single Jordanian will tell you, is that it’s far better to eat it in a family home where it is traditionally cooked rather than eating out in a restaurant! And from my experience, if you find a good mansaf it can be really quite delicious, but if you get a bad one, its enough to put you off for life.
Hummus, pitta, chips, falafel, salad and tomato
You really don’t need to pay ridiculous amounts in Jordan to get the best hummus, falafel and pitta. I regularly went to this place in Weibdeh and they can be spotted all over the city – little restaurants COVERED in Coca Cola advertising. You can sit in or take food away and these simple little restaurants serve the tastiest hummus I have had to date! You should definitely also try a traditional falafel wrap, they are so simple but 100x better than anything you’ll find in the UK!
Hummus, Fattoush, Stuffed vine leaves & Pitta
I wanted to include this picture to introduce the best salad out there – the fattoush. It’s truly delicious and originates from Lebanon but can also be found everywhere in Jordan. A zesty vinaigrette is added to a simple salad along with fried pieces of flat bread and is the perfect complement to any dish.
Jordan’s ultimate brisket burger
Just looking at this photo is making my mouth water. We took a trip to Amman’s #1 American restaurant and we were not disappointed. We had their chicken wings to start and they were by far the most delicious chicken wings I have ever had! We followed this with their Brisket on Prime Burger (B.O.B) with fries and as I’m sure you can tell from the picture above, this restaurant is well worth a shot.
Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of my next food recommendation, knafeh. You haaaave to try knafeh! If you get the opportunity, I recommend going to a little store tucked away in a little street in downtown Amman called Habibah Sweets. Founded in 1951, it’s even recommended by the locals as one of Amman’s oldest stores, and its still going strong! So, what is knafeh itself? I suggest you give it a google and keep an open mind. It sounds very strange, and as though the ingredients would not work together at all. Knafeh is an under layer of cheese with a noodle pastry or fine dough and soaked in syrup, usually topped with chopped nuts. Sounds strange, right? But it’s amazing! I’ll be completely honest, I was rather unsure and not too keen on the whole idea when I first tried it, but once you get into it you’ll begin to love it too.