Chickpea tabbouleh salad (Shutterstock)
List Words : Food & Drink | 20 March

4 authentic Jordanian recipes

Prepare an evening meal of soups, salads and mezze with recipes from Petra's finest traditional chefs

Just yards from the gates to Petra, you can find a unique foodie experience. At Petra Kitchen you help prepare a four-course meal in the company of fellow travellers – then eat the delicious results. The good-natured (and patient) chefs guarantee a lively evening of learning and good food. Here, are a few of the typical recipes...

Shorbat soup – lentil soup

1 cup of brown lentils
½ tsp salt
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup parsley, finely chopped
6 cups of water
1 onion, finely chopped
½ tsp cumin
dash of pepper

Lentil soup (Shutterstock)
Lentil soup (Shutterstock)

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.

Tabbouleh – fresh parsley salad

500g tomatoes
3 ¾ cups parsley, finely chopped
½ cup olive oil
½ lemon juice (vary to taste)
1 cup burghul (cracked wheat)
2 large onions
3 ¾ cup mint leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp salt

Tabbouleh salad (Shutterstock)
Tabbouleh salad (Shutterstock)

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
½ tsp salt
2 tsp active dry yeast
½ cup warm water
pinch of sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil


To make the sambousek b'jibn (cheesy triangles):

Sambousek dough
½ cup grated gruyere cheese or feta cheese (vary to taste)
1 cup grated white cheese
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tspn sesame seeds


Arabic pastry triangles (Shutterstock)
Arabic pastry triangles (Shutterstock)

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. Hint: Keep prepared triangles under damp paper towel until ready to cook to avoid drying out.

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

7. Pan fry in oil until golden in colour, turning to cook each side. Serve hot.

Kaafta bil Tahinah – baked ground meat in tahinah sauce

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


For the sauce:
¾ cup tahinah (sesame seed paste)
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tbspn salt
1 cup water
½ cup of pine nuts

Kofta with Tahini Sauce (Shutterstock)
Kofta with Tahini Sauce (Shutterstock)

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.

Learn how to cook on your next trip to Jordan at Petra Kitchen. Prepare an evening meal of soups, salads and mezze with local women and traditional chefs. Find out more


Main image: Chickpea tabbouleh salad (Shutterstock)