Jordan is a country that is rich in culture and heritage, and where cultures meet, great food is bound to be found. We have compiled a list of the top 10 traditional foods a visitor to Jordan should try, ranging from home made specialties, street foods, and popular favorites for locals.
Wondering what to eat in Jordan? While the list of food in Amman Jordan can be bigger, we took the top 10 recommendations that reflect traditional food in Jordan and rich cuisine. Some of the dishes can be found and shared across many countries, Jordanians have developed their own unique flavors and variations of Jordan foods.
Here’s the list:
The traditional signature dish of Jordan, and source of pride for all Jordanians on who makes the best Mansaf.
A large platter of white rice over paper thin bread called “Shrak” topped with pull-apart lamb cuts, and soaked in a special sauce made from dried yoghurt called Jameed.
This hearty dish of rice, vegetables, and cuts of lamb or chicken is a homemade specialty. While there are many variations of which vegetables are used, most feature potatoes, cauliflower, and eggplants. The spicy rice dish is a tasty feast. The name which means “upside down” comes from the flipping of the cooking pot contents onto the serving tray. A side of yogurt salad adds the creamy flavor as well.
Originally from Palestine, this chicken dish has the unique flavor due to its seasoning marinade of the special spice Summaq, onions, and the high quality olive oil that is indigenous to the region. Served over traditional Taboun Bread which is baked in stone lined ovens, and acts as a great vehicle to absorb the total flavor.
This Bedouin specialty is slow cooked for long hours in an underground pit giving it a unique smokey flavor from the hardwood used to generate the long lasting embers. With several variations, most will feature whole lamb, whole chicken, or cuts of both, seasoned and marinated, cooked over vegetables and rice.
This is one of the few recipes that feature fish in the Jordanian cuisine. The dish features a fried fish that can be whole or cuts over a bed of spicy rice, topped with crispy caramelized onions and a special spicy sauce to bring the flavors together.
6. Barbeque & Mezzah
While the mezzas are featured in many of the regional cuisines, every country adds their own variations, specialties, and ingredients. This is a feast that is shared amongst family and friends, and tables are covered with a spread of small dishes from the freshest salads, cheeses, cold and hot appetizers, meats, vegetables, barbecue, and many others. A perfect way to sample and taste so many great dishes, with something to please every palate and taste.
7. Hummus & Falafel
Known all over the world, Hummos, Foul, and Falafel are the staple diet of every home. This economical vegetarian delight is served at all times of the day, but most commonly for breakfast as it is rich on proteins from the many legumes that are the main ingredient to many of these dishes, with and endless number of variations in the form of small plates, platters, and sandwiches. If you have time, sit down and have a selection and enjoy dipping with fresh bread and mix the flavors. Alternatively you can always choose a quick sandwich that will surely not disappoint.
These sandwiches with meat or chicken are also from the staples of not only Jordanians, but most of the Arab World. The spicy mixes that are used to transform the flavors of the sandwich comes with pickles or onions and special sauces, served wrapped, open faced, stuffed, or in plates. It is argued that this can be the most sold sandwiches in the world if combined with the very similar Turkish Kebab and Greek Gyros. More modern versions are starting to mix fusion flavors from around the world.
9. Ka’ek & Eggs
Baked round or oval shaped, these sesame buns are best served fresh with an irresistible small of baking. Although different from bread, this is a sandwich that you will not forget. Choose your own stuffings from a selection of boiled eggs, cheese, fresh salads, and the special blend of wild oregano called Zaatar.
Since no meal is complete without a dessert, Knafeh is one that will stand out from the rest. A crispy baked dough from either semolina or vermicelli noodles baked and topped with a special white cheese. Once it has gotten the crispy golden brown color, it is flipped and doused with a special syrup and sprinkled with pistachios to add more texture.