Palestinian food has a lot of strong influence from Turkey, especially since the time of the Ottoman Turks. The cuisine served has similarities to other Levantine cuisines, such as Lebanese, Jordanian and Syrian. Cooking methods and ingredients used vary greatly depending on climate, location, and tradition.
In Galilee, for example, this area is common with various preparations of rice and variations of kibbeh or a type of processed ground beef seasoned with spices and grains. Meanwhile, in the West Bank area, you will find more processed foods from taboon bread or a type of thin bread baked in a traditional clay oven called taboon.
People who live near the coast will eat more fish, seafood, and processed lentils. Residents in Gaza itself counted a lot of foods that taste spicy.
In addition, Palestinian specialties are also available in the form of sweet snacks in the form of pastries filled with dates, walnuts, sweet cheese, pistachios, and almonds. Curious about Palestinian food? Here are some types of food that can whet your appetite.
The first Palestinian food that will arouse your taste buds is called Maqluba. According to history, Maqluba is found in the Kitab al-Tabikh, a collection of recipes from the 13th century. Broadly speaking, Maqluba is made of rice cooked with fried meat and vegetables.
Types of vegetables that are commonly used include cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants that have been fried. Meanwhile, for meat, people there can use a choice of chicken or lamb. The spices used include turmeric powder, chili powder, olive oil, chopped coriander leaves, and garam masala or Baharat spice mix.
All the ingredients are neatly arranged in a saucepan and served by turning them carefully. The maqluba is even more complete with the addition of pine nuts and chopped fresh parsley as a garnish. When eating it he usually juxtaposed it with salad and yogurt. Can you imagine the taste of the spices?
Unlike Maqluba, Musakhan is a typical Palestinian dish in the form of taboon bread served with grilled chicken. The spices used for roasting include caramelized onions, turmeric, olive oil, saffron, sumac, and allspice, also known as Jamaica pepper. The dish is served with fried pine nuts or almonds sprinkled on top.
In the cooking process, the chicken meat used is usually boiled first and then roasted separately. While waiting for the chicken to cook, fry the onions and then dip the taboon bread in there with a little chicken stock added. After that put the bread and roasted chicken that had been cooked earlier in the oven.
The next Palestinian food is called Sumaghiyyeh. It is an authentic Palestinian dish that can be found in Gaza City. According to tradition, this dish is prepared on holidays. Sumaghiyyeh comes from a spice called sumac. In the process of serving, sumac must be mashed first by soaking it in water.
Then mix the sumac with tahina or a paste made of sesame seeds, water, and flour to thicken it. Sumaghiyyeh is commonly used as a mixed element in various stir-fries such as turnips cooked with beef. In addition, Sumaghiyyeh is also deliciously eaten as a dip for pita bread.
In short, Mujadara is a filling dish consisting of rice and then cooked with lentils and stir-fried onions. The recipe is said to have been recorded in a book written in 1226. Mujadara is also commonly served with meat. Especially Mujadara without meat he is often considered food for the poor.
Mujadara itself is one of the famous snacks in the Middle East. Seasoned with cumin, mint, or coriander it is served with a sprinkling of fried onions and yogurt. For the Palestinian territories, rice is sometimes replaced with bulgur and is referred to as M’Jaddaret Burghul.
Qidreh or Kidra or Qidra are the next Palestinian specialties that will arouse your taste buds. Still the main ingredient of rice, Qidreh is the favorite food of the Hebron people. This menu consists of meat, either lamb or chicken, which is then cooked with chickpeas. It is seasoned with cumin, cardamom, black pepper, turmeric, and allspice.
Qidreh is generally also equipped with shallots and garlic. Most Qidreh is served in a copper pot. This dish is perfect for eating with a yogurt dip and a vegetable salad consisting of tomatoes, cucumbers, olive oil, and vinegar.
Maftoul or also known as giant couscous is comfort food for the Palestinian people. The presentation process is enough to boil. While the mixed ingredients can be various, including grilled chicken or salmon.
Maftoul’s taste is light and delicate, so it goes well with other ingredients. You can season it with onions, peppers, broth, lemon juice, and olive oil. To make it more complete, you can choose to add chicken or other animal protein.
Simply put, Fatayer is a snack in the form of a meat pie that can be filled with various types of fillings such as spinach or cheese. Apart from Palestine, this dish is popular in Iran, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Kuwait. Each country of course has a different variant of Fatayer.
To make Fatayer with a typical Palestinian recipe, you need flour, butter, egg yolk, buttermilk, dry chili powder, cumin, and salt to make soft bread.
As a filling, you can choose lamb with spices such as paprika powder, coriander, cumin, dried chili powder, cinnamon, nutmeg powder, and chopped cloves. Can you imagine how spicy this Palestinian dish is?
At a glance, Sfiha is similar to Fatayer. This dish is both made of bread with meat filling on it. The difference is, that the taste of Sfiha is lighter than Fatayer which tends to be heavy because it is made by mixing cumin, cinnamon powder, and cloves into the meat.
When making Sfiha, when you are going to season the meat to be placed on the bread, you only need cubed tomatoes, onions, peppers, tomato paste, allspice, and lemon juice. Stir the ingredients together with the minced meat. Once smooth, you can put it on the bread and then bake.
- Taboon Bread
The next Palestinian food is still in the form of bread. This time the bread we chose was very traditional because it was baked in a special clay oven called taboon. Taboon bread is easily recognized by its flat and round shape. The texture is chewy and crunchy when chewed.
The bread itself is the staple food of the Palestinian people, including this Taboon bread. They used to eat taboon bread that had been smeared with olive oil and a pinch of za’atar, spice such as oregano. Besides being eaten directly, taboon bread is also usually eaten with other complements such as onions and meat. Some Palestinian dishes use it as the main ingredient.
This time the Palestinian food that must be tried is one of the sweet-tasting desserts. Kanafeh is not only famous in Palestine but is a much-loved traditional Middle Eastern dessert. This cake is made from grated filo pastry and semolina dough soaked in sweet syrup plus a sprinkling of finely chopped pistachio nuts.
Information that Kanafeh is most famous for its delicacy is Knafeh Nabulsiyeh which comes from the City of Nablus, Palestine. In its manufacture, Knafeh Nabilsiyeh uses a salty cheese called Nabulsi. Have you thought about the taste?
Those are ten Palestinian specialties that will surely make you curious to try them. Most are made from bread, rice, and meat, especially chicken and lamb. Spices are another element that makes Palestinian dishes taste delicious. Which of these ten dishes makes you drool?