Jordan,a Hashemite kingdom on the banks of river Jordan is a country rich in cultural heritage and paleolithic remains. My son along with his work friends had a mini weekend vacation to this exotic country. They visited the ancient red city Petra- a wonder of the world and Jordan’s most valuable treasure, the famous Dead Sea which has no life in it because of high salinity, Wadi Rum-Valley of the Moon formed of sandstone and granite,Amman-a capital city spread over 19 hills , camped in Dana-a quaint old stone village and enjoyed the local food prepared by Bedouins.
Jordanian cuisine is famous for its meats,baking,grilling,olive oil ,Sumac and blend of spices like Za’atar. Mujaddara is a rice and lentil casserole garnished with caramelized onions. There are different versions of Mujaddara. The one I have tried is simple and easy to make and needless to say delicious. It can be simply eaten alone or paired with yogurt or some flavorful roasted Jordanian chicken.It makes a wonderful meal.
Jordan Roast Chicken
- 4 chicken pieces( breasts and thighs) with skin
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tbsp sumac
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 cup pomegranate molasses
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- pomegranate arils for garnish
- fresh chives/spring onions, chopped fine for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350ºF or 180ºC
- Rub the chicken pieces with a mixture of salt,sumac and cardamom making sure the seasoning reaches under the skin.
- Heat a skillet and add olive oil in it. Place the chicken pieces with skin side down.
- Sear the chicken for 5 minutes on each side on medium heat.
- Remove chicken from the pan and keep aside.
- In the same pan add chicken stock,pomegranate molasses and thyme. Bring to a boil while scraping and stirring it.
- Let the sauce reduce to half.
- Now add the chicken pieces and coat them with the sauce.
- Put the chicken along with the sauce in an ovenproof dish/baking tray and roast for 15 minutes.
- Serve with the reduced sauce and garnished with pomegranate arils. Enjoy…
Mujaddara-A flavorful Jordan rice and lentil casserole
- 2 cups white rice(soaked in hot water for 30 minutes)
- 2 cups brown lentils(soaked overnight in water, drained)
- vegetable oil
- ½ cup vermicelli noodles (fried golden in a teaspoon of oil)
- 1 kg onions( thinly sliced and fried golden)
- Place the lentils in a cooking pot with 4 cups of water.Bring to the boil and simmer, uncovered, over medium heat for 15 minutes.
- Add the drained rice, fried vermicelli and half of the fried onions to the lentils pot and stir. Add salt. Cover with a lid slightly ajar and cook over low heat for 30 minutes or until the rice is tender. Check halfway through to see if you need to add more water. Remove from the heat and allow to rest, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Place the lentil and rice mixture on a large serving platter and scatter over the remaining fried onions to serve. You can serve hot or at room temperature.
- You can serve it alone,with yogurt or with the Jordan roast chicken.
Recipe Courtesy: sbs.com
Enjoy this delicious platter from Jordan in the comfort of your home.