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.
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The meal looks delicious. No doubt people loved it.
your pics caught the essence.
Thank you Shreya.
The meal turned out to be a delicious one. 🙂
Looks you have enjoyed this cooking.
There is nothing wrong in learning something new.
The Chef made a difference and it’s fun cooking in a group. 🙂
OMG! Food is looking really awesome. You tasted it? You are so lucky lady now I am feeling hungry but I don’t have food like this. I need recipe for these and then I prepare it at home.
Of course I tasted it. I had stomach full of meals. 😀 Burrrppp
Later I’ll post some recipes as well.
The cooking master-classs looks Cool with the yummy dishes where I have to say tea is the Rockstar 🙂
Ha Ha Liked your way of seeing things. 😀
Glad that the meal turned out to be a delicious one.Look that you had a lovely time with the chef.
Sriram & Krithiga
Yes, we had awesome time with chef.
And the next day during breakfast, I saw him again supervising things at the venue. 🙂
Lovely captures and interesting narration 🙂
Thank you Deepak. Your stories are equally wonderful. 🙂
I am too bad at cooking but I love these special cooking sessions.
Enjoyed reading your experience. The food looks yum and I am quite fond of Tabbouleh.
Overall Jordanian cuisine looks very interesting.
I am also not a very good cook and don’t want to be in kitchen for long.
Having said that, I liked this experience and the food turned out to be a delicious one! 🙂
Great to know about famous Jordanian cuisines through your post. The way you have mentioned about your cooking experience makes me visualize it in real. The splendid clicks brings water to my mouth looking at the delicious dishes.
Thank you very much for your kind words.
It was indeed a nice experience. 🙂
Very beautifully written. I feel like visiting this place right now. It is written straight from the heart. Would like to read more.
Also it’ll be great if you would visit Caliedoscope which is a cultural magazine that intends to collect interesting experiences and unique information on niche subjects.
Thank you very much for liking this post.
Sure, I’ll do sometime. 🙂
Cooking together is fun. I remember the one I had in Goa and some sessions in Bangalore.
The food here looks yum. Wonderful opportunity to learn authentic dishes. Baba ganoush is something I am keen to learn.
I loved cooking with others. It was super fun along with tea, gossips and oh well, girls. 😉
I always travel through my stomach and I love to take cooking classes – so this is right up my alley! Sometimes learning to cook things is dangerous but Jordanian food is pretty healthy so I think I am safe!
Discovering a country via its cuisine is my favourite part of visiting a new place and Jordan has been on my bucket list for ages! Your experience sounds amazing. I love how you were not only able to cook your own food but learn all about it as well!
I can understand not wanting a cooking lesson after a long day touring around. Great that there were such a variety of dishes to cover everyone’s food needs. The best part for me would probably be the pastries too. So glad to hear that people loved your cooking. It does sound like a fun event.
I am not a fan of cooking myself so I can imagine how the idea of it must’ve felt after a tiring day at Petra. But I am glad that you ended up enjoying it and I think the chef’s jovial nature, as well as your love for Jordanian food, must’ve added to it! I love Jordanian food myself, and I realise that although some ingredients in their foods are similar to ours, the way it is cooked is quite different and that is really interesting to learn!
I’d love to visit Jordan – it’s getting really popular in Europe.
The food, though, looks amazing and I’m very much into Middle East cuisine. The green of the Tabouleh is so fresh – fantastic.
I love cooking and would love to try cooking Jordanian cuisine! Well done for doing it after a busy day of walking! That tabbouleh looks beyond delicious!
The food looks delicious! I would love to be able to learn how to make these for myself! YUM YUM YUM!!! xo – Kam
I love Jordanian food and enjoyed the cooking class at Petra Kitchen in Petra too when I visited back in 2013. It was fun to cook a communal meal and even more fun to eat it. I think my favorites were baba ganoush, the lentil soup, and of course, fattoush!, one of the tastiest salads anywhere.
So delighted when I saw you writing about Jordanian food!! I lived in Israel for a while and I had a great try of this cuisine when we had a visit. I also love cooking and this makes me so happy. Of course who would get tired of a good baba ghanush or Tabbouleh! Wow I think I’m cooking his in Mexico today. Thanks for inspiring.
Being a vegan, I have always been a fan of Mediterranean cuisine, especially from Jordan and Lebanon. It is good to see you enjoying the cooking even after a tiring day. Tabbouleh, baba ganoush, and also the masoor daal are my favorite. I am a bit jealous of you, I want to join this cooking tour soon.