You Guide to 15 Fun Activities in Amman


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Downtown Vegetable Market

Fun Places to Go in Amman  if you’re a foodie:

  1. When you visit Amman, take a stroll to the vegetable market downtown for some fresh produce.
  2. While you’re in downtown Amman, stop by Sara’s fish restaurant, where you pick the fish you want and they cook it for you. 
  3. The Citadel! My favorite place. They just opened up a restaurant called Dar Nemeh.
  4. I would pack up my sandwiches from Falafel Al Quds and head downtown to the roman amphitheatre for a nice picnic.
  5. Try a cooking class at Beit Sitti. I recommend making the Makloubeh menu!  
  6. Shawerma Reem for lunch then to Tamriyet Omar for dessert. Both are within walking distance from each other on the second circle. Don’t know where they are? Look for the two tiny shops with a long line of locals waiting for their food. 
  7. Wine tasting at JR, the wine experience. 
  8. Najla’s Kitchen for lunch. Call ahead to see what they are making that day. 
  9. K&K for the adventurous eater, where you will be feasting on intestines and feet..not for the faint of heart. 
  10. Shams Al Balad for a nice breakfast.
  11. Visit 3izwati if you’re feeling generous, the idea is that you buy a meal for yourself and for a person in need. It is located in a little nook in Jabal Al Weibdeh, on the stairs taking you down to Al Kalha.
  12. Auberge in downtown Amman serves the best Kafta Bil Sanieh. It used to be the first bar that opened up in Amman and you will find the biggest range of people from your local taxi driver, to the madams of Amman all having arak at the same place.
  13. Nothing beats Abu Saleh’s ‘street coffee’. Order yours sweet “hilweh”, with little sugar “a’al reeha”, no sugar “sadda’’.
  14. Tickle your fancy side at Sufra on Rainbow Street. Alternatively, you can go for Lebanese mezze style places like Fakhr el Din or Karam Beirut, both equally fantastic. A bit pricey but worth the trip, while at Karam Beirut, order Hummus Karam, Raheb Salad, Shanklish, baked Bureks, kibbeh Maaliyeh, Arayes, Tabbouleh and Fattoush. For dessert, Kishta Bil Asal, and Osmalieh. At Fakhr El Din; ask for the chicken pistachio balls, hummus, mutabal, the cheese Sfeeha (my cousin Leen’s favorite), fattoush, baba ghanouj. For dessert, Osmaliyeh, Halawet El Jibn, and of course, order mashawi at both. 
  15. Unleash your inner hippy at Rumi Café if it’s sunny, or check out Al Manara if its cold in Jabal Al Weibdeh for a nice morning coffee. 

If you’re looking for adventure and culture-oriented activities in Amman:

  1. Walk with Dania, a lawyer who guides you through Amman when she’s not lawyering. Check out Danias walking tours of downtown Amman and Jabal Al Weibdeh. She’s fantastic! Find her on Instagram @Dtour.
  2. Call Cycle Jordan to rent your bikes for a nice ride around Amman’s Dabouq area, this happens around the King Hussein Park, also lovely for nice walks inside.
  3. You can then check out the Royal Automobile Museum for most of his late Majesty King Husseins’ awesome car collection, 007 styles! 
  4. For family activities in Amman, especially if you have kids, the Childrens’ Museum is definitely something you have to visit.
  5. Walkthrough Rainbow Street and check out the cool shops. Make sure to stop for some shisha at one of the many places that serve it. 
  6. Fast Walkers Amman is great for a fun thing to do at night. 
  7. Walk the steps of the amphitheatre in downtown Amman.
  8. Stop by the side of the airport road for some lovely pottery and garden furniture before heading back home. You’ll also find great gift ideas. 
  9. Fly kites at the Citadel at sundown. 
  10. Ok! This is not in Amman, but while you’re in Jordan, I would suggest you plan it for the day, you have to!!!! Hike through one of our wadis. Don’t skip this! There are a couple of close ones to Amman, it takes around 1-2 hours to get there and 4-5 hours in total to hike. But go with a guide as you will need the equipment. 
  11. Check out the Friday market downtown – “thrift store with a flare”. Go early to snag a couple of good pieces.
  12. Carakale Brewery on the outskirts of Amman offers a fun day with friends. You can also bring your own food. (Check my recommendations on food above). 
  13. Spend a lovely day walking through Darat Al Funun and Dar Al Anda, on the same street as Beit Sitti on Mohammad Ali Al Saadi Street. 
  14. Visit the Bisharats’ Diwan Al Duke, and meet the man behind it all. 
  15. A day hike in one of our parks, Wasfi Al Tal is my favorite. Amman National Park also has some beautiful hikes. It’s worth mentioning that Wadi Al Shitta is a lovely place to go for a hike with your pets. 

Amman is the city of seven hills, and every one of its hills holds something precious. These areas include Jabal Al Weibdeh, Jabal Amman, Jabal Al Natheef, Jabal Al Akhdar, Jabal al Qala and Jabal Al Hussein, and Jabal Al Nuzha.

Each has appealing features, with coloured stairs and graffiti, but this is what I think of when I think of each of our Jabals – (hills): 

Jabal Al Weibdeh: food and art scene.

Jabal Al hussein: Luna Park, which I used to go to when I was kid, and a whole lot of shopping.

Jabal Al Akhdar: as green as can be, it’s mostly residential though.

Jabal Al Natheef: community work.

Jabal Al Qalaa: the actual citadel, also there’s a place that sells neon lights that are shaped in funky ways! Check it out! Super cool.

Jabal Amman: Rainbow Street. 

Walk down all of these Jabals and you will end up in downtown Amman 

My city is fanatic! Amman is also a big melting pot of cultures with all the refugees that came to Jordan. The street food scene knows no end with Iraqi, Palestinian, Lebanese, Jordanian, Circassian, Egyptian, Yemani, and Lebanese dishes all over the city. 

Why Having Your Team Building Activities at Beit Sitti is The Way To Go

At Beit Sitti, we work directly with you to come up with team-building activities that start with icebreakers, followed by a cooking competition and the teams get judged based on the plates they serve. Of course, they all end up sitting together for a delicious meal.

We have a bunch of set team building games that you can enjoy, starting with:

The “how well do you know your team” game. The idea behind this team building game is to give team members the incentive of earning what they need to continue and also shows them that they need to choose wants over needs to be able to compete in the marketplace

Price: 35 JOD per participant (minimum 5 guests) + 16% sales tax

Included in the price is lunch or dinner, as well as coffee and tea.

This team-building activity is based on 3 parts:

Choosing Ingredients – Earning ingredients – Cooking

Core competencies: Creativity, communication, teamwork and delegation

The team leader will be assigned the task of coordinating between the cook, judges and organizers, and the team and help delegate tasks between team members.

Itinerary

Teams arrive and get acquainted and ready, wash hands and have some lemonade

Beginning of #icebreaker, instructions read loudly and to team members

Company to answer questions, hence allowing Beit Sitti coordinator to facilitate the game

Game: Earning my ingredients?

  • A form is given at the beginning of the session with a list of ingredients
  • The team decides on what to prepare and are only allowed to use a number of ingredients
  • One by one, team members will be asked questions in order to earn the ingredients of the dish to be prepared
  • The team has 40 minutes to prepare the dish and present it to the judges
  • Beit Sitti is in charge of monitoring winners and giving them the ingredients

All groups to begin preparing the main course

Dishes are presented

Lunch/dinner is served

Refer to menu offerings: www.beitsitti.com/menu

Judges grade contestants based on:

  • Cleanliness
  • Organization
  • Teamwork
  • Team Leadership skills
  • Following instructions
  • Enthusiasm

And then, we announce the winning team

Followed by the “assemble your infographic” game. This is a team-building activity where you have to create your own infographic before cooking. Using your infographic board, you will discuss the steps to be used in preparing the dish and then you have to follow them step by step.

A lot of times, this game aims at showing participants that if they do not plan accordingly, they will not execute properly.

Price is 40 JOD plus 16% tax per participant and includes lunch or dinner as well.

Itinerary

Teams arrive and get acquainted and ready, wash their hands and have a drink

Beginning of icebreaker: Instructions read loudly and communicated to team members

Game: A board with pictures is distributed and guests have to prepare an infographic to follow the recipe

All groups to begin preparing the main course

Dishes are presented

Lunch/dinner is served

Judges grade contestants

Grades out of 5, each point deducted will be deducted from the total points gained for:

  • Cleanliness
  • Organization
  • Teamwork
  • Team Leadership skills
  • Following instructions
  • Enthusiasm

 

Our Third and most effective team building game is “budgeting”… how to get what I want…

This game is aimed to show you how an organization could operate in the span of 3-hours. We begin with a concept (the theme of the restaurant) followed by the menu (discussing what can be done within the organization or start-up) taking into account a hurdle in the budget. Finally, going into implementation.

Budgets allocated – action plan – ingredients collection – plan – recipe – cooking

Core competencies: Organization, planning, teamwork, decisiveness, negotiation skills

Itinerary

Meeting point, where teams to arrive and get acquainted and ready, have a drink and a light snack

Beginning of icebreaker, instructions communicated to the team members

Action Plan

A form is given at the beginning of the session with a list of requirements needed for the team to prepare lunch, budget for the day is handed out

The team has to prepare an action plan and delegate between team members

Teams set out to the market, on foot or using public transport- no personal cars…

Plan of action set and a menu written and designed

The team has 45 minutes to prepare the dish and present it to the judges

All groups to begin preparing the main course

Dishes are presented

Lunch/dinner is served (Menu can be discussed ahead of time)

Judges grade contestants

Grades out of 5, each point deducted will be deducted from the total points gained for:

  • Cleanliness
  • Organization
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership skills
  • Following instructions
  • Enthusiasm

Winners are announced

  1.     We have set team building games that we create based on the competencies that you’re trying to develop during your corporate retreat

 We also provide different team building activities to different organizations based on what they are trying to achieve

Let us know what your aim is, and we can create a fun team building game for you!

One game we did with Ikea was when their CEO came all the way from Sweden and we prepared a team building game for them, by giving them an Ikea Catalogue with instructions on how to assemble their own Makloubeh!

The giveaways were also made so that guests could assemble their own zatar manakeesh at home. 

Another game we did with Chain Reaction, a Digital Marketing agency, was the listening game. Instructions were read once to see if team members will be able to follow them without asking for details. This focuses on participants’ listening skills, to see if they understand a task once its given or just act and do it as they are used to.

  1.     Working as a team

When you cook together at Beit Sitti, no one is left out. Teamwork and delegation is just as important as getting the final result correctly.

  1.   The Place is booked especially for you

You have the whole place to yourself, to present whatever you need to your guests or team members. Also, we like to have a time of reflection after cooking which is very beneficial. 

  1.     You are working towards a goal

The best thing about our team building activities is that you see the final product of what you were working on right away, see it, taste it, and feel it. And you can actually get rated on it. It makes perfect sense.

  1.     You can go places by foot (vegetable market, treasure hunt)

Beit Sitti is conveniently located in Jabal Al Weibdeh which is within walking distance from a lot of places that you can walk to in downtown Amman, Paris Square, parks, and more, all of which can be included in our team building activities.

  1.     Introducing team members abroad to our culture (heritage)

If you have guests coming from abroad looking to do something exciting and meet locals, or for international organizations getting guests from abroad, this is the perfect place for your dinners or lunches, to avoid talking strictly business and just cooking together instead as well as to introduce your coworkers from abroad to our Arabic food and culture. 

  1.     Food is included

One of the most exciting things about doing team building activities at Beit Sitti is the fact that you get to reap the delicious fruits of your labor.

Tourism in Jordan: Things to Do

Firstly, starting with the fact that for such a tiny country we have such a wide range of terrains and sites that you have to visit, cross-referenced with the food you should try in every spot. 

During COVID my son was homeschooling so I decided to educate him on Jordan and He had a blast.

Here’s what we did!

Jordan Tourist Attractions

Jerash and Ajlun

Starting with the cold northern regions of Ajloun and Jerash, closer to the Syrian border, Jerash with its beautiful Roman ruins that you can’t miss is a must-see when visiting Jordan…but here’s what you also need to do when you go there:

Jerash is very close to Ajloun, so,  if you have a couple of extra hours on hand, make sure you save some time for a picnic in Ajloun or Wadi Al Rumman, where Um Mohammad runs a farm from where we get our pomegranate molasses.

I took my kids to AlMa’wa for Nature and wildlife right after the snow and they had a blast. it was right after a snowstorm and Ajloun looked lovely coated in snow, so did the entrance to Jerash

Faisal with Lions

in the spring Ajloun is lovely!! picnics at Birgish Forest and Dibeen Forest Reserve are the best thing to do starting from March until June. If you are into adventure travel, there are a lot of spots you can find that are rigged for climbers.

 

Another lovely place to visit in the North is Al Azraq Wetland Reserve an hour drive from Amman but worth it.

and stop on the way at one of the coffee stalls. Abu Saleh is my go-to for a proper Arabic coffee. You can ask for:

  • Sweet – “hilweh”
  • Little sugar -“3al reeha”
  • No sugar – “sada”

Here you can do some bird watching and see some fish and have a lovely picnic outdoors. go in the winter when there’s a lot of water around.

Bird watching at Azraq wetland reserveAl Azrak Reserve

 

Driving down the scenic road back to Amman, you have to stop in Salt. Salt used to be the capital of Jordan at some point and has the most beautiful old houses. When you are in Salt, one thing you have to eat is Mansaf. You will either love it or hate it, but if you’re going to try our local dish anywhere, Salt or Karak is where you should do it.

Azraq Wetland Reserve

Amman

Now in Amman, one thing you shouldn’t miss is going to the downtown market for some fresh vegetables. Also stopping by Tamriyet Omar on the 2nd circle and Shawerma Reem for lunch. and a drive up to the citadel to fly kites.

Tamriyet Omar

For dinner, book a delicious cooking class at Beit Sitti; one of the most prominent places in Weibdeh, either at 5pm or 7pm, or try it for lunch at 12pm or 2pm. And if you want to learn to make a proper Jordanian breakfast, make foul, falafel, fattet hummus, manakeesh zaatar, and galayet bandora with us.

 

Picnics in Jordan

Jordanian picnics are made up of Kebab and Shishtawook with Arabic bread hummus, mutabal and of course a gala yet Bandoora

the king of BBQs my Father! and the best place we picnic with the Family is Ghamadan park, close to Amman and totally worth the drive. The best time to go is during spring when the flowers are blooming and the greenery is all around. also it’s not too hot to handle

Madaba

Moving towards Madaba. I recommend you plan your trip to make it to Madaba on Thursday during the day so that you can visit the churches and then enjoy a night of “hishek bishek” with a  belly dancer and live music at Haret Jdoudna. Try their Sajiyeh … so heavy, but oh so good. And of course if you want to sip on some alcohol, Arak is your drink for the night.

After Madaba, drive down to the Dead Sea and spend the day floating in salty waters and smear some mud on yourself, a little self-care is in order here!  

Wadis in Jordan

There are so many wadis to choose from, many of which will be on your way to the south, so on your way to Petra or Wadi rum, make sure to make a stop at one of the wadi and hike through it, some need hours and some need a day or two. You can check out the Jordan Trail for the best routes to follow. Personally, I think its always better to go with a guide, especially if you need special equipment for climbing or repelling

 

 

Petra and Wadi Rum

As for the next day, head to Petra for a full day and sleep in Wadi Rum under the stars. Ask if your camp offers a night of Zarb. (Zarb is a whole chicken or a whole lamb cooked underground for hours). It’s a melt off the bone kind of feast.

wadi rum

Aqaba

Driving down the next day to Aqaba here’s what I recommend. Check out Ayla for a resort destination with amazing beach clubs, delicious food and fun activities for kids and adults. Or go to Tala Bay for a real Aqaba feel with activities like snorkelling and fun water sports at the tip of your finger.

 

Jordan is a combination of forest; Ajloun and Jerash, city; Salt and Amman, desert; Wadi Rum and Petra, and sea; Aqaba and the Dead Sea.

With your choice of adventure travel, religious travel, culinary travel, or even medical travel, we have it all in Jordan. So, book your trip and come visit us for a memorable vacation (or even a staycation).

Maria

 

6 Easy Vegan Recipes from the Middle East

Running a cooking school for 11 years has made me realize that Arabic food has got to be one of the easiest foods to translate to vegan recipes.

This by no means qualifies me as a local guide, but let’s consider it a recommendation from a local friend. First, let’s begin with vegan breakfast options. 

A typical Jordanian breakfast consists of a whole range of vegan dishes, most notably falafel, hummus, and foul; they are hearty, healthy, full of nutrients, and definitely give you a bang for your buck. For not more than 2 dollars, you will be able to scratch your itching craving for falafel along with the traditional company dishes of hummus and foul, not to mention free Arabic bread, tea, and pickles to go with it.

My favorite falafel and hummus street stalls in Amman:

  • Falafel Al Quds: This place in Rainbow street offers, what I like to call, the ultimate falafel sandwich, with your option of sesame bread or just plain, the owner specializes only in making addictive falafel sandwiches. Forget the foul and hummus, after this sandwich you will be too full for them.
  • Al Kalha: The cleanest of the falafel vendors, this place is like the 5-star version of street food with their rebranding. They are more of a luxury falafel, hummus, and foul shop… let’s call it a suave street stall.
  • Hashem: Downtown Amman is not my favorite in terms of taste, but it is in terms of atmosphere, it definitely wins. The whole vibe is ‘Ammani’ downtown and if you want to eat like a local, head there for breakfast.  
  • Abu Jbara: You will find this place on many street corners, just google it and you will find the closest one to you! Savour the best falafel, hummos, and foul combo.
  • Abu Mahjoob: This is where we used to go when we skipped school. Well worth the Bs Cs and Ds.

If you’re not in Jordan (or even if you are), try our homemade falafel recipe for a flavor to make you feel like you are on the streets of Amman.

Homemade Falafel Recipe:

2 cups chickpeas (pre-soaked overnight)

4 cloves garlic

1 bunch coriander 

1 hot pepper 

(as many extra herbs as you want and you can also add an onion) 

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp black pepper

1 bunch coriander

1/2 tsp allspice

1 bunch parsley 

1 tsp sodium bicarbonate

Directions

  1. Soak 250 grams of dried chickpeas in water overnight.
  2. In a food processor or meat grinder, add garlic, coriander, and parsley.
  3. Once the texture is a paste, add cumin, black pepper, and allspice. 
  4. Preheat oil in a pot to fry the falafel in.
  5. Grab a small amount of paste and roll it in the shape of a ball using your hands or put water on a spoon and using another spoon form an oval-shaped ball and then dip it into the hot oil to fry.
  6. Once the falafel ball starts turning brown at the edges, turn it around so that it cooks on the other side.
  7. Leave to fry for another 1 minute and place on a paper towel to cool.  

You can eat it with some hummus and pita bread for a great vegan meal. Enjoy!

Hummus recipe:

Hummos and foul are available almost everywhere in Jordan. If you’re not here and want to feel like you are, try recreating this globally popular vegan dish at home.

For the perfect hummus, all you need is:

1 cup of boiled or canned chickpeas

Lemon to taste (I would go for 2 lemons)

1 tsp of salt 

1/cup of tahini 

Crushed garlic

Foul recipe:

The same applies to the foul recipe. This recipe is one I learned from a food stall owner who specialized in a foul for more than 36 years in Lebanon, and yes you guessed it, his name is Tony and his appetite for foul supersedes his passion. Let’s just say he knows this Middle Eastern vegan dish inside out. 

Follow this simple recipe for a delicious vegan meal.

1 can of fava beans

Garlic

Salt

Lemon

Tahini

Directions

  1.  Wash the beans and put in a pot to cook on low heat until warmed. 
  2. Smash the garlic using a pestle and mortar with salt and add some lemon. 
  3. Mix together well, add your fava beans and gently mash together.
  4. Finish off with a bit more salt and tahini.

The second topic at hand is vegan main courses that are packed with flavors and nutrients.

Lentil Soup:

Almost anywhere in Amman, you will find vendors who sell hot lentil soup on winter nights. They sell it like coffee on the side of the street when it’s cold and it tastes superb. Don’t forget to add some sumac and lemon juice, along with fried croutons to make it hearty and filling.

For a great lentil soup recipe, follow this recipe:

 

Mujadara Recipe:

The vegan lunch dish that takes the cake and honestly tastes superb is Mujadara. This delicious lentil, rice and caramelized onion dish is made to tantalize all your senses, served with a side of tangy farmer’s salad. Nothing says home like this dish.

2 cups brown lentils

2 cups Calrose rice

1-kilo onions 

½ cup vermicelli noodles 

½ tsp salt

Vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Cut 3 onions into thin slices and fry until golden, then place on a paper towel covered plate.
  2. Saute a finely chopped onion in olive oil until translucent then add 1 cup brown lentils (presoaked in cold water). After you saute the brown lentils, add water and bring to a ½ boil.
  3. Pre-soak the rice for 30 minutes in hot water and then add it to the pot along with the brown lentils.
  4. Add  1 tsp of each: salt, black pepper, and cumin.
  5. Leave on low heat until the rice is cooked and ready.
  6. Plate the rice neatly on the serving dish and sprinkle the deep-fried onions on top.

Arabic terrain calls for olive oil, tomatoes, and beans (green beans, white beans, or okra) cooked in a lovely tomato sauce.

Some main courses that could be considered vegan are galayet bandora, fasolia bi zeit, and bamyeh bi zeit. We eat these vegan meals with either pilaf rice or with pita bread. Follow my recipes below for a quick vegan stew that will surely tantalize your taste buds. 

Galayet Bandora Recipe:

Makes 5 portions.

3 cloves garlic

5 ripe tomatoes

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

½ tsp sugar

Olive oil

2 hot pepper

Directions

  1. Sauté finely chopped garlic in olive oil in a large frying pan.
  2. Add hot pepper and let sweat to get juices out.
  3. Peel and dice tomatoes and add to the pan, bring to a boil, then let simmer.
  4. Salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Top with freshly chopped parsley for garnish. 

 This dish can be made with diced meat and tastes great as a side to freekeh  

Fasoulia bi Zeit and Bamyeh bi Zeit (Green Beans and Okra):

 3 cloves garlic

2 Cups green beans cleaned and cut into quarters / or okra cleaned and washed (whole)

5 ripe tomatoes

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

olive oil

Directions

  1. Sauté finely chopped garlic in olive oil in a large frying pan.
  2. Add green beans or okra and let sweat to get juices out.
  3. Peel and dice tomatoes and add to the pan. Bring to a boil and let simmer.
  4. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Top with freshly chopped parsley for garnish.

Jordanian food is the ultimate comfort food, whether it is for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. One of our staple ingredients for anything vegan is zaatar. It can be eaten with a piece of fresh pita bread dipped in olive oil followed by zaatar or with our sumac topped on a salad.

When it comes to Arabic dessert, get ready for some vegan galore. Baklava from any shop downtown, especially my personal recommendation, “Tamriyet Omar”, will satisfy any sweet-lover’s cravings. Their vegan doughnut is one for the books (Thank me later).

Halaweh (tahini mousse) and Asabe’ Zeinab (fried dough with simple syrup) and Awameh, are also found in most of the dessert shops downtown. 

Finally, my favorite dessert of all time is one that will shock you. Mughli (check out our Mughli post to learn more about it).

Sahtain!

Easy Chicken Recipes: Marinades & Arabic Dishes

Our basic cooking method course has a whole class dedicated to chicken recipes and I thought why not share my favourite snippets from that class for a list of easy chicken recipes to get you started.

Chicken can be cured, roasted, boiled, smoked, slow-cooked, grilled and baked. You can cook this versatile protein bone-in, or boneless, whole or minced, the possibilities are endless!

Let’s start with the basics…

Boiling Chicken The Arabic Way Vs. The French Way 🙂 

What you need:

1 chicken either whole or cut into 2/4/6/8 pieces
1 litre Water warm
2 tbsp salt
4 peeled garlic cloves
1 onion, cut in half
2 bay leaves
4 cardamom pods
2 allspice (whole)
2 cinnamon sticks
To wash your chicken, you’ll need:
Salt
Lemon
Flour

  • Wash chicken thoroughly with salt, lemon and flour by scrubbing the flour all over the chicken, then toss a handful of salt onto it and start scrubbing with a lemon cut in half (Salt acts as an abrasive that effectively cleans the chicken)
  • Rinse with cold water and pat dry with a single-use paper towel
  • In a pot, add a bit of olive oil and add your spices. Then add the chicken to sear, and follow by adding half an onion, bay leaves and garlic
  • After the chicken has been slightly cooked and browned from the outside, add some boiling water just enough to cover the chicken and bring it to a boil for 5 minutes
  •  Add salt and pepper, and let it simmer for 45 minutes while skimming the froth from the top until the liquid is clear
  • Drain the chicken and reserve the delicious stock for other dishes
  • If you have our Beit Sitti stock mix on hand, make sure to add a teaspoon for an extra flavour kick

Interesting Foodie Fact!

The French use something called mirepoix, a mix of vegetables used to add to the flavour of the stock, including carrots, celery, and zucchini – in addition to a bouquet garni, which consists of dried herbs wrapped in wire, to be removed later. 

We Arabs don’t do that. We usually prefer the flavour of plain chicken stock. Also, our spices are very fragrant so they add intense flavour to the stock. After boiling chicken, you can use the stock to make stews like Mulukhiyah and Fattet Djaj. 

Fattet Djaj Recipe

The rice:

  • Wash the rice 3 times until the water is no longer milky 
  • Soak the rice in cold water for 30 minutes (or hot water for 10 minutes)
  • In a pot, boil 1 ¼ cup of water (or chicken stock) for each cup of rice and add some oil and ½ a tsp of salt
  • Place the pot on high heat for 5 minutes until the water starts to evaporate, then lower the temperature to very low and let it simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve hot.

The pita bread:

4 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 tbsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt

  • In a cup, mix half of the warm water with the sugar and yeast and let the mixture rise
  •  Mix the flour and the salt together then add the wet ingredients gradually and start kneading
  • After the texture of the dough becomes soft, leave it in a warm place for around 20 minutes to rise
  • After the dough has risen, form small balls and press slowly down on them to flatten
  • Preheat your oven to a high temperature
  • Put the bread in the oven and wait for it  to rise, then let it boil for 2 minutes

Putting it all together:

  • Cut up small pieces of bread and deep fry them until golden brown (don’t use olive oil when frying)
  • Place the fried pita croutons on a paper towel to drain the oil 
  • Line a deep bowl with pita bread then add some chicken stock (just enough to make the bread moist)
  • Add a layer of rice (you can add some garlic for extra flavour)

mix some crushed garlic with salt and yoghurt and layer it on top, then add some roasted pine nuts on top for garnish

After learning how to boil chicken and how to actually implement a recipe using boiled chicken, here’s a list of healthy, easy chicken breast recipes.  You can grill it or bake it. Or both. 

Quick Chicken Breast Recipes

Chicken breast can be cooked either boneless or bone-in, either way, the trick is to marinate it ahead of time for the most flavour. Leaving the chicken breast to soak in the marinade overnight will give you moist, flavorful pieces that will leave everyone asking for seconds.

These are quick easy chicken recipes that have been tried and tested many times, of course, feel free to add your touch whenever you feel the need.

Shish Tawouq Marinade:

4 tbsp yoghurt
2 tbsp ketchup/tomato paste
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp allspice

Asian Marinade:

4 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp honey

Grandmother’s Chicken Marinade:

4 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp dried thyme leaves
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 tsp yoghurt
1 tsp sumac

Mustard Balsamic Chicken Marinade:

2 tbsp mustard
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp paprika

  • Marinate the chicken overnight in a ziplock bag or airtight container then season with a little bit of salt and pepper. If you can’t marinate it overnight, leave it in the mixture for as long as possible. 
  • Drain the juice and sear the chicken in a pan for 2 minutes until a caramelized crust forms. Finish it off in the oven for 15-20 minutes on medium heat.

And now for the grand finale, Djaj Mahshi. Stuffed chicken (Djaj Mahshi)  is the Jordanian version of stuffed turkey and no Christmas is complete without this dish on the table.

Follow this recipe for a Mediterranean Christmas from the region where the actual birthday boy himself was born.

Djaj Mahshi Recipe:

1 whole chicken
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp mixed spice
Onions
1⁄4 kilo ground meat
Rosemary
2 cups rice (1 cup medium grain and rice 1 cup American rice)

  • Soak both kinds of rice in cold water for 30 minutes
  • Clean whole chicken with vinegar, water, lemon and flour and scrub 2 times until fully clean and rinse, then pat dry with a single use paper towel, and place in the fridge
  • Finely chop onions and sauté in oil until transparent
  • Add the ground meat to the onions and let them cook
  •  Add cinnamon, black pepper, salt and mixed spices to the meat and keep stirring on low heat until the meat is cooked
  • Add pre-soaked rice to the meat and mix well
  • Immerse in chicken stock put on high heat until the water evaporates from the surface, then lower the heat and let the rice cook slowly for around 20 minutes until half cooked 
  • Season chicken with salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon, then rub with a clove of garlic and stuff with onion, bay leaves and a portion of the half-cooked rice (Cook the other portion separately)
  •  Put the chicken in an oven bag or tray and cover (if you are going to cover with foil, make sure you put oil on the foil so that it doesn’t stick to the chicken) 
  • Leave the chicken in the oven for an hour, then remove and brown
  • Use the stock/chicken pan drippings as your sauce and add the rest of the cooked rice around the chicken
  • Top the dish with almonds and pine nuts
  • Serve it with a side of yoghurt and cucumber salad

A little tip: you can use ghee or butter instead of olive oil, but I prefer olive oil to keep it light for my kids

Sahtain!

 

Meghli, a tradiotional arabic, vegan, gluten free, desert to help milk production for breastfeeding moms

My Mother-in-Law fool proof Meghli recipe

Two months ago I gave birth to the sweetest baby boy Faisal and have been snaking away on this mughli ever since

Meghli, Mughli, mghli however you want to pronounce it; is a pudding made with rice powder and a whole bunch of spices and some yummy toppings to enhance milk production for breast feeding… not only is it the perfect meal to bring when visiting someone who just had a newborn,  its also an excellent vegan dessert that is gluten free

Heres Aunti Nada’s recipes for your to follow. she changed it from the original but this one works every time and like all arabic dishes you’ll have plenty left for visitors to share

9 Cups cold Water

1 1/2 Cup sugar

1 Cup rice powder

1 TBSPN Caraway powder

1 TBSPN Anise

1 TBSPN Cinnamon

1/4 tspn Ginger

1/4 tspns Arabic mixed spice

divide the 9 cups so that you have one cup of water for the spices and the rest of the 8cups for your rice powder

In a small pot boil 1 cup of water with all your spices, in the second pot add the rice powder to the 8cups and make sure the water is cold then slowly start stirring on a low heat and when it starts getting warmer add the sugar and keep stirring followed by the spice mixture as you stir. Once it starts to thicken take off the heat and pour into bowls; now heres the best part! The toppings.

You can top this with your choice of shredded coconut, peeled almond and pistachio and pine nuts presoaked in water  and raisins ( I personally prefer it without)

like any pudding you can eat it warm as soon as its ready or leave in the fridge to cool. But always make sure to add the toppings only before serving

 

note: I used to eat heaps of this! so to make it healthier you can put less sugar and add the rice flour instead)

 

 

 

Calling the shots! Moutabbal vs. Baba Ghanouj!


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The difference between Moutabbal and Baba Ghanouj!!! the age old question of Mutabbal and Baba Ghanouj has confused arabs, expats and tourists alike, we as an arab society can not seem to find a middle ground in picking a name for a dish and sticking to it!

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