Let’s Drool Over Some Jordanian Food

December 11, 2011

Experiencing the food in Jordan was a highlight of our trip. While similar to the typical Middle Eastern cuisine found in neighbouring Lebanon, Syria and Palestine, this was our first time trying most of the foods on offer. The sheer range and variety of dishes available is staggering, each one as good as the last. Every foodie should head to Jordan for a culinary adventure.

Salads and Appetizers

One aspect of a Jordanian meal that we weren’t prepared for is the sheer quantity of food. They have something like 13 different salads they can serve, including tasty dips like hummus, baba ghanoush and foul maddamis. Fried pastry bites, labaneh (a yoghurt cheese) and khubz (pita bread) often complete the first course.

fattoush Jordan

Fattoush quickly became our favourite salad.

kibbeh jordan

Kibbeh are fried minced meat croquettes.

jordan salads

Tabbouleh Jordan

Tabbouleh with Fattoush along with bread and other starters

jordan mezze

Pita bread slices with sesame paste and a warm creamy topping.

Main dishes

As our guide explained it, the stocking of a typical Jordanian kitchen is a serious affair. It would contain stockpiles of different kinds of wheat, a year’s worth of two kinds of oils (olive oil and another for frying), a spice closet, dry yoghurt for marinating, three kinds of rice, a fryer and both a regular and electric grinder, among many other foods and equipment. Each dish has its own different spice set. No wonder they are all so tasty and unique!

jordan meat dishes

Meat is a staple of Jordanian cuisine.

seafood Jordan

Fresh seafood is also commonly found, especially in the coastal areas.

Mansaf, which is Jordan’s national dish is made up of lamb in a yoghurt sauce, served with rice or grains. Maglouba, a type of chicken casserole is also very popular. We tried many different dishes at a few buffets and all were delicious, though I didn’t get photos of them all.

lime-mint drink Jordan

I drank heaps of these refreshing lime-mint beverages.


It was always difficult to find room for dessert, but when we did even these were special and amazing. It’s common to be brought a basket of fresh fruit with the dessert.

dessert jordan

This was a delicious orange gelatin-style dessert with rose essence.

jordan sweets

Typical sweets, including chocolate-covered dates and pistachio nests

kunefeh Jordan

We thought kunefeh was only found in Turkey but were delighted to find two different kinds in Jordan, one softer and one crunchier.

What’s your favourite Middle Eastern dish?

Our visit to Jordan was sponsored by the Jordan Tourism Board. Many thanks for all the wonderful meals we experienced.

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  • http://bittenbythetravelbug.com/ Nicole Smith

    Mmm delicious! Can’t wait to head to Jordan to try the variety of food they have to offer. Thanks for the really informative post Andrea. :)

    • http://inspiringtravellers.com/ Andrea and John

      Exciting!! When are you going? Food was definitely a highlight for me as you can probably tell =)

    • http://bittenbythetravelbug.com/ Nicole Smith

      I’d like to head there for TBU next year but can’t be sure I can get there at this stage.
      Haha, oh… I would have never guessed food was a highlight. 😉 It does look pretty tasty though. :)

    • http://inspiringtravellers.com/ Andrea and John

      Didn’t know they were having TBU in Jordan…even if you can’t make it then you should try at another stage – fantastic country! =)

    • jordanianbeauty

      Thanks for posting such wonderful dishes:) most of it is really healthy and not only the food is good but the country and people are wonderful.

    • http://inspiringtravellers.com/ Andrea and John

      I agree! We had a wonderful time in Jordan and have actually been really missing the food…

  • http://www.groundedtraveler.com Andrew

    What is kunefeh? Is it like pizza? Or sweet? Speaking of sweet, that plate of deserts looks fantastic.

    At the top you mention “foul maddamis”, are those both Arabic terms or is foul English? If English, meaning with poultry or truly awful.

    • http://inspiringtravellers.com/ Andrea and John

      I probably should have explained that a bit better, huh? =) Kunefeh is a dessert with a melted cheese base and noodles, either soft or crispy, baked in a pan, with a sweet, syrup. So it tastes all warm, sweet and buttery when you eat it. I’m a cheese fanatic so this is the perfect dessert for me, haha.

      Foul maddamis is a mashed fava bean dish with seasoning. Not foul at all in the English sense =)

  • http://www.emilyinchile.com/ emilyinchile

    I need to get to Jordan asap. All of these dishes look amazing – my mouth is literally watering!

    • http://inspiringtravellers.com/ Andrea and John

      You’ll love it Emily – you must go!! =)

  • http://twitter.com/SamKynmanCole Sam Kynman-Cole

    mmm looks delicious. White rum goes fantastic in those mint lime beverages on ice!

    • http://inspiringtravellers.com/ Andrea and John

      Haha – most people don’t drink alcohol over there so we never had that option but sounds like a must-try =)

  • http://nomadicsamuel.com Nomadic Samuel

    OMG, that’s the definition of delicious looking food :)

    • http://inspiringtravellers.com/ Andrea and John

      Totally! My new favourite kind of food =)

  • http://www.thedepartureboard.com Si @thedepartureboard.com

    Hi Andrea, Those dishes look delicious.  I will have to hunt out a Jordanian restaurant near me!

    I have added the link to The Travel Bloggers Guide to Jordan I’m developing.  I hope you don’t mind?

    Kind regards, Si

    • http://inspiringtravellers.com/ Andrea and John

      If you struggle to find a Jordanian restaurant, a Lebanese restaurant will offer similar selections – I’ve never seen any Jordanian restaurants in the US or Australia but have seen Lebanese ones. Of course you may add our link to your Travel Bloggers Guide – would love to see the list of posts so feel free to share it here when it’s finished! =)

  • http://www.wanderlusting.info Dayna and Kurt

    Wow.  I am so hungry now… those croquettes look AMAZING (as does everything else).

    • http://inspiringtravellers.com/ Andrea and John

      As good as those were they weren’t even one of my favourites, haha – so many delicious dishes to try =)

  • Anonymous

    oh my gosh…this looks AMAZING!!!  I want a kibbeh NOW!! :)

    • http://inspiringtravellers.com/ Andrea and John

      Yum!! We probably ate about 50 of those between us in the course of a week, haha =)

  • Gaby

    what great photos!  mmm…these pictures make me hungry for Jordanian food and nostalgic for my time there.  Again great post.

    • http://inspiringtravellers.com/ Andrea and John

      Thanks so much, Gaby – I’m hungry for some Jordanian food at the moment as well (and it’s 8 am, haha)

  • http://www.kylehepp.com/blog/ Kyle

    Holy moses, look at all the colors in this food! Aside from being apparently yummy…it is also photogenic.

    • http://inspiringtravellers.com/ Andrea and John

      Apparently the best diets have a lot of colours – this food felt so healthy!

  • http://twitter.com/DangerousBiz Amanda Williams

    Yum, this all looks delicious!!

  • http://travelingcanucks.com/ Cam


  • http://www.sophiesworld.net Sophie

    Had heaps of Jordanian friends at uni and they made the most delicious food.

    • http://inspiringtravellers.com/ Andrea and John

      Lucky!! This was my first taste of many of these dishes ever and it’s been a long time since uni for me…

  • http://www.thetravelchica.com Stephanie – The Travel Chica

    I just ate breakfast, and I’m hungry again.  I need to get out of Argentina and somewhere with more flavors beyond steak, empanadas, and pizza.

    • http://inspiringtravellers.com/ Andrea and John

      I would definitely miss the food variety if I lived in BsAs…

  • http://www.economycarhire.com Kerri

    Bad post to read right before lunch! Yummy!!

  • http://mybeautifuladventures.com/ Andi Perullo

    I would gladly gain a couple of pounds for this food!!! Amaaaaazing!

    • http://inspiringtravellers.com/ Andrea and John

      It’s all pretty healthy but the quantities definitely added a few inches to our waistlines! =)

  • http://www.neverendingvoyage.com Erin

    Mmm, that looks so good. The starters look very vegetarian friendly and as you get loads I’m sure we’d be fine without the meaty main course. Can’t wait to visit.

    • http://inspiringtravellers.com/ Andrea and John

      They definitely are – just be sure to ask what’s inside any fried items before biting in. The finger pastries shown had cheese in them, for example, but kibbeh have meat. I could live off the dips, bread and salads alone and be completely satisfied (and I’m not even a vegetarian!)

  • http://cherylhoward.com Cheryl Howard

    Not a thing on here that I wouldn’t try! Everything looks soooo good.

  • http://monkeysandmountains.com/ Laurel

    Looks delicious, I would have never have thought about Jordon for amazing food before.

    • http://inspiringtravellers.com/ Andrea and John

      We’ve always loved Turkish food and thought we’d like the food in Jordan…but we loved it even more than Turkish food!!

  • http://twitter.com/OverYonderlust Erica Kuschel

    Seriously… I had a great dinner but my stomach apparently doesn’t think so anymore.

  • http://ouroyster.com/ Jade

    omg Im starving now – going to go eat dinner! Although it probably wont be as nice as what is in these photos!

  • http://twitter.com/GreenGlobalTrvl Green Global Travel

    Note to self: DO NOT read food-related posts before you’ve had breakfast! We love Middle Eastern food, especially Moroccan and Lebanese. Never had Jordanian, but it looks delish.

    • http://inspiringtravellers.com/ Andrea and John

      It’s very similar to Lebanese. I’ve never had Moroccan – I bet that’s amazing!!

  • Smelly Ishant

    mmm mmm mmm that’s good labaneh.

    You guys should start up a food website, I just had lunch and now I’m hungry again.

    • http://inspiringtravellers.com/ Andrea and John

      mmmm…good idea!

  • http://travelexperta.com/expatmama/family-life/ Marina K. Villatoro

    I’ll try any kind of food as long as I don’t need to cook it :)

    • inspiringtravellers

      Me too, haha =)

  • http://elboqueronviajero.com El Boquerón Viajero

    We love Jordanian food!!! :)

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