Cooking a Jordanian cuisine
I half-heartedly entered Petra Kitchen and I was not sure if I would enjoy the ‘cook your own food’ part. I was dead tired after walking to SIQ, Petra and other attractions during the day under the scorching sun. We had just returned, and all I wanted to have a good hot shower, my dinner and crash on my bed.
The reality of course was, I just freshened up and here I was at the kitchen to cook food for more than 20 persons! Of course there were others as well to do similar chores but half of the people did not turn up for cooking part.
We were greeted by jolly Chef Tariq and his jokes and that evaporated my tiredness away. It was my first time to try my hands at Jordanian cuisine. I love Jordanian food very much and wanted to know more about it.
There were three rows of long tables in a big hall. A fridge, large stoves in 2 corners, few storing areas and a corner with aprons depicting different designs of Petra Kitchen. We were handed over the aprons & gloves and in no time 5 of us were ready to cook, donning our aprons.
Since there were a few vegetarians among us, we needed to prepare few dishes for them as well. The menu was elaborate. We were going to cook, Mansaf (main course), Baba Ghanush, Tahina salad, Shourbat Adas (lentil soup), Tabbouleh, Fattoush, cheese/Thyme bread and much more.
Jordanian cuisine is a traditional style of food preparation that has developed from centuries of social and political change. There is wide variety of techniques used in Jordanian cuisine ranging from baking, sautéing and grilling to stuffing of vegetables and poultry. Also common in Jordanian cuisine is roasting or preparing foods with special sauces. Olive oil is used generously.
First, the chef told us about the dishes we were going to make and their ingredients. We started with cutting the vegetables as per his instructions and guidance. Each one of us was provided with a knife and a chopping board.
The evergreen salad, Tabbouleh.
Once all the cutting was over, we turned to cooking. We started with lentil soup. I wanted to know how different it was from what we make at home. I was amazed to see the Masoor daal (pink colored) in Jordan! First thing I noticed was, it wasn’t pressure cooked. It was cooked in a large vessel with lots of water, black pepper powder, roasted cumin powder etc. A very easy recipe. I and Shilpa took turns to stir it in a huge vessel. After sometime it was mostly her, since my right wrist had started aching. Some of us were taking pictures. Things had started falling in place.
We prepared Baba ganoush, it was an easy dish again. It was Chef Tariq’s jovial nature that I enjoyed the process. In between we were served local mint tea to keep us in mood. 🙂 (Make us work harder 🙂 )
Another group had come (they were mostly Russians) and was working on the other table. Our group consisted of five Indians and one American.
Among salads, my favourite was Fattoush. It was a kind of bread salad made from toasted or fried pieces of pita bread combined with mixed greens and other vegetables, such as radishes and tomatoes. You may use leftover flatbread for this.
Best part was to bake pastries like bread with sesame seeds and thyme. We made small balls from the dough, flattened them and spread two different spreads consisting of sesame seeds and thyme mixed with olive oil. Freshly baked, once it came to the table, it was favorite of all the people.
By the time the food was ready, other people joined us and took their places at the table. Our group sat on one table and the Russian group on another.
We took out food in serving plates and bowls and it was placed on both the tables.
When I saw faces and expressions of people eating meal prepared by us, I knew we had churned out a delicious meal! The mission was successful! I am very sure all of them had more than what they normally have for dinner. It was such a delectable meal!
Cooking Jordanian cuisine with Petra Kitchen was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it a lot. I would highly recommend Petra Kitchen in Petra if you wish to learn authentic Jordanian cuisine cooked in a home style, friendly environment.
If you want to travel places with me, I suggest you to join me on my Facebook travel page.
P.S.- This article belongs to www.lemonicks.com. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. If you are viewing this on a website instead of your RSS feed reader, then that website is guilty of stealing my content. Kindly do me a favour. Please visit my site and help me taking action by letting me know against this theft. Thank you.