Food & drinks

Palestinian cuisine is the cuisine of the middle east, such as falafel or hummus.

Though they often eat chicken, we can taste pork in Christian communities (Bethlehem, Beit Jala etc). Palestinian pork is so much delicious, it’s a must!

falafel

Falafels are fried mashed chickpeas mixed with herbs. It’s not greasy, once you start to eat, you won’t be able to stop.

falafel in Palestine

One of the most popular and the handiest dishes . Sandwich style is also good.

We often eat falafel as a sandwich with pita bread. The falafel sandwich is very cheap (from 5 NIS) but is enough big. It’s one of the handiest food.

Near the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, there is a falafel restaurant “Afteem” that local people speak highly of.

makloubeh

Makloubeh is cooked rice with spices. It means “turning upside down” in Arabic.

Makloubeh in Palestine

This dish is served very often for guests.

After rice is cooked, they turn the hot pot upside down into a big dish, then put a grilled chicken on it. This is also one of the hospitable dishes.

Palestinian people love to eat it with yogurt.

marmahon

Marmahon is a sort of pasta, made from flour.

Marmahon in Palestine

Chicken soup gives a light taste.

Palestinians cook it with chicken stock and onion. The taste is very light and simple.

mahshi w warak

Mahshi means “zucchini”, warak means “grape leaves”.

mahshi w warak in Palestine

It tastes very light.

These are soup boiled zucchini being filled with / or rolled grape leaves/rice and meat inside.

This is a mom’s dish since forever. You might see Palestinian moms are rolling grape leaves on holidays.

salatah

Salatah means “salad”. So, it’s Palestinian salad as you’ve imagined.

Palestinian salad

It’s chopped salad mixed sometime with parsley or/and mint, which gives in your mouth a freshness.

Basically, it’s made with chopped tomato, cucumber and onion added lemon juice, salt, and olive oil. Palestinian people love adding paprika, parsley or mint to it.

Inside the falafel sandwiches, Palestinian salad is often added, too.

fool mdammas

Fool mdammas is mashed cooked broad beans with salt, garlic, and lemon juice etc. It’s one of the standard appetizers in Palestine.

Palestinian fool mdammas

This fool mdammas is half bean and half creamy. Palestinians order it often with hummus.

It’s often served as an appetizer for “mahshi w warak (zucchini and grape leaves)”.

It depends on the restaurants, how mashed the fool mdammas is. Some make it very creamy, some make it medium-mush, or some other make it half creamy & half beans.

za’atar

Za’atar is a mixed spice with pounded thyme and oregano adding salt and sesame.

za'atar of Palestine

Rich smell of herbs gives a good appetite.

When you eat a Palestinian bread, dip it in olive oil, then put it on za’atar then eat it. That perfect salt seasoned and the good smell of herbs give a good appetite.

Za’atar is a traditional spice that each family has.

mulukhiyah soup

Known as an Egyptian dish though, it’s very common soup also in Palestine. It’s thick and tasty.

Palestinian mulukhiyah soup

It tastes very simple.

Palestinians like squeezing a lemon just before tasting it.

Taybeh beer

Taybeh beer is the only beer brewed in Palestine.

Taybeh beer bottle in Palestine

Taybeh beer is exported to some countries. Maybe you can find it in your city.

We can visit its brewery in Ramallah district (see taybehbeer.com for details).

A bottle costs about 18 – 20 NIS in restaurant (2012).

3aSeer lamoun w na3na3

This is fresh mint lemon juice, often served at restaurants.

Palestinian mint lemon juice

A must for hot summer in Palestine. Citric acid in lemons re-energize your body.

Na3na3 (sounds like na-a na-a) means “mint” in Arabic.

This juice is made from fresh lemon juice with sugar and fresh mint, which re-energizes your body.

Jericho mineral water

Palestine origin mineral water. Jericho is the city famous for its plenty of water.

Find this blue label. wbchan

Tap water is safe in Palestine (in author’s opinion), but it isn’t very tasty.

This Jericho water is sold everywhere. The price depends on each shop, it costs about 2 – 3 NIS (2012).

knafeh

Knafeh is a sweet cheese pastry added syrup and pistachio on it.

knafeh in Palestine

It tastes super sweet. I, the author, couldn’t finish even the half.

Knafeh is a specialty of Nablus. There are some famous pastry shops (see this entry).

ma’amoul

Ma’amoul are small cookie often made for seasonal events.

Palestinian ma'amoul

Home made ma’amoul for Christmas.

In supermarkets, we can buy factory made ma’amoul. They are filled with dates paste etc.

Before baking, Palestinians tuck the surface with ice tongs, which gives a beautiful pattern.

It tastes like shortbread. Good for teatime.

zungul

Zungul is like syrup-dipped donuts. It is super sweet.

Palestinian zungul

It was too sweet for the author… for those who adore sweet things

In some restaurant, it’s served as a dessert.