Jordanian food is a form of Arab cuisine. Lamb and chicken dishes are popular, often accompanied by yogurt, bulgur, eggplant, tomatoes, rice or bread. Garlic and mint are the most common seasonings.

In Muslim families, dawn prayers are followed by breakfast, which usually includes eggs and cheese. Lunch is usually eaten around 2 p.m., and is often the biggest meal. It is also a time to meet friends and catch up on the latest news. On special occasions, it can last several hours.

Dinner, eaten around 9 p.m., is a lighter meal except during holidays or the month of Ramadan. During Ramadan, every Muslim is required to fast from sunrise to sunset, so dinner (eftar) becomes the only large meal of the day.

Jordan's national dish is mansaf, whole lamb cooked with a yogurt sauce and served on rice. This is an old Bedouin recipe, which is eaten by almost all Jordanians. Traditionally, the stew is scooped up with a piece of pita bread or the fingers. Olives are eaten with almost every meal and are also a popular snack.

Shish kebab consists of chunks of lamb and vegetables threaded onto skewers and barbecued. A dish called maqluba ("upside down") is a casserole of meat, vegetables and rice, served by inverting the baking dish onto a plate. Dessert may be an assortment of fruit or rich sweets like baklava.

For a quick meal or snack, Jordanians can get a shawarma, a rolled piece of flat bread filled with strips of lamb or chicken. Others might prefer falafel, pita bread stuffed with a mixture of chickpeas, yogurt, spices and parsley. These foods are available from street vendors or small shops.

Jordanians enjoy drinking coffee, which is served very strong and sweet in small cups. Arabian coffee is often flavoured with cardamom. Guests are always served coffee and it is considered polite to have several small cups. Tea is also popular and is usually heavily sugared.

     Shish Kebab

2 cloves garlic
60 ml lemon juice
2 ml salt
25 ml olive oil
250 g lamb, chicken or beef, cut into cubes
1 large green pepper, cut into squares
2 tomatoes, cut into cubes
1 large onion, cut into wedges


Crush garlic with the flat of a knife. In a small bowl, mash garlic and salt until it forms a paste. Add lemon juice and oil. Stir. Add lamb and marinate for 2 hours or overnight. Thread lamb onto skewers, alternating with pepper squares, tomato cubes, and onion wedges. Grill the kebabs, turning the skewers so that all sides are cooked.