Food in Jordan


Food is very important in Jordanian culture. One of the main reasons that I chose to stay in a host family was because I wanted the full experience of Jordan, including food! I knew that food was a staple of cultural exchange, and I was very lucky to have my host mother cook kabsa, mansaf and knafeh for me. However, the dish I discuss in this piece is not one that my host family cooked for me. It is, instead, one that I cooked for myself with the help of my lovely flatmate and very patient friend who is also a chef. The dish is called maqluba.

What food did I try?:

Maqluba is a dish associated with many Arab countries. The name translates to "upside-down" because of how it is served. The dish is a layered cake form of potato, cauliflower, eggplant, chicken and rice and usually served with a side of greek yogurt (labneh) - a very common side dish in Jordan.

How did I feel when I tried it?:

I was nervous when I tried maqluba, mainly because I was cooking it for my flatmates, too, so I was worried that it would taste poorly. However, from the first bite, I was relieved, because the food was delicious. I had bought an authentic spice packet instead of trying to put the spices together from scratch, so the seasonings of black pepper, cardamom, allspice and (shockingly, for me) cinnamon came through just as intended.