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Recipes – A Taste of Palestine

Fatma made a dish that is called upside-down.

For a vegetarian dish, you can fry up some eggplant and califlower to use instead of meat. Today Fatma has both. Put some salt on the eggplant before frying in olive oil. Also fry the califlower.

If you want meat you fry the chicken and onions

Put spices on the chicken Sumac, pepper, cumin, lemon and others you may like.

She has both so in the pan, first put the eggplant, then the chicken with the onions. then the cauliflower.

(You can also use fish instead of chicken or other meats).

Fatma has let the rice stand in hot water to soften for an hour. Add whatever spices to the rice you want. Then she puts the rice over the other items.

Then she takes the chicken stock and pours it over to cover the rice. (She used the broth from boiling the chicken).

Then she put on stove and cooks first on high and then lowers the heat until the liquid is absorbed.
It is served by turning the pot upside down on a round platter.
Click to view the video of the cooking segment from our event.

Below is video about Susiya with Fatma’s brother, Nassar and her mother speaking. Note the settlement in the background. To read about the history of the village as told by Nassar, click here.

Recipe for Feb 23 – Claire from Bethlehem

Mansaf – view video

  • ***2 lb. jameed, cut or broken into coarse pieces Note: In the Arabic stores, only liquid jameed is available. See Step 5 and use 3 cups of the liquid jameed. No need for blender.
  • 1½ tsp. ground allspice
  • ½ tsp. ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp. ground turmeric if necessary.
  • 6 ½ lb. bone-in lamb shoulder, cleaned well and cut into 8 large chunks
  • ¼ cup canola (corn oil)
  • 1–2 loaves shrak or lavash (very thin, round Arabic bread)
  • 8–10 cups steamed Egyptian rice
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts.

Products for this recipe are available in your local Arabic stores.  View video.


  1. In a large bowl, add the jameed and enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Let soak at room temperature overnight.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the allspice, cardamom, and turmeric. In a second large bowl, add the lamb and the spice mixture, tossing well to evenly coat.
  3. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot over high heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot and shimmery, add the lamb and sear evenly on all sides, 12–15 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a heatproof platter using tongs, pour out and discard any excess grease, then return the lamb to the pot. Add enough water to cover by 1 inch and bring to a low boil over high heat. Lower the heat to maintain a strong simmer and cook until the lamb is tender when poked with a fork, 1 hour.

  4. While the lamb is cooking, drain the jameed and transfer to a blender or food processor. Add

  5. ***See Note and just use liquid jameed available in Arabic stores. 3 cups warm water and purée until the mixture is completely smooth and has the consistency of thin yogurt, adding additional water as needed. In a fine-mesh strainer set over a large bowl, strain the jameed mixture, discarding any lumps, then set aside.
  6. When the lamb is tender, transfer a heatproof platter using tongs. In a fine-mesh strainer set over a large heatproof bowl, strain the lamb stock, discarding any solids that remain in the strainer. Clean out the pot, then return the lamb and jameed mixture to the pot. Add enough lamb stock to thin the jameed mixture to the consistency of half-and-half, then return the pot to medium-high heat. Bring to a strong simmer, stirring occasionally to avoid scorching the bottom. (The sauce is now referred to as shraab, or “soup.”)

    1. When you are ready to serve the mansaf, layer 1 or 2 loaves of shrak over a large round tray or platter, allowing the bread to hang off the edge of the tray by about 1 inch all the way around. Pile the rice into a high mound on the bread, then use tongs to arrange pieces of lamb over the rice.
    2. In a fine-mesh strainer set over a large heatproof pitcher or serving bowl, strain the shraab, discarding any solids. Skim away and discard any excess grease from the liquid and serve alongside the platter of mansaf. Ladle a few spoons of shraab evenly over the mansaf. Sprinkle the pine nuts evenly over the lamb, top with parsley one leaf chopped fine.