Food & Recipes

Arab drinks

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

Qahwe (Arabic coffee): Arabic coffee is mixed with cardamom and served with or without sugar.

When somebody leaves for a long trip, relatives throw coffee on the floor or at the entrance. This ritual serves to protect the traveller during the long journey.

It is said that when you spoil some coffee on the floor, you will meet good fortune.

If people offer you coffee, drin(...)

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Kenafe recipe – Nablous

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

Soft cheese cooked between two layers of orange shredded pastry, served with sugar syrup and rose water. The city of Nablous is famous for its kanafa. The old fashion home-made recipe follows.

1/2 cup flour

sugar water: 1 cup water on 1 cup of sugar

nuts

white cheese

nutmeg

cinnamon

salt

butter

syrup and rose water

Mix the (...)

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Fasting and funeral – Eid al-Adha

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

Fasting periods are important events. Both Moslem and Christian Palestinians fast. Fasting is a main duty for the Moslem. Each Ramadan Moslems fast for 29, 30 or 31 days depending on the position of the moon. From sunrise to sunset they eat nor drink. By doing so they remind themselves of the poor who do not have enough to eat. After sunset people start eating. In the old times people only at(...)

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The meal during occasions

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

Engagements and weddings used to be celebrated at home. The groom's family prepared the meal and the visitors played music and danced on the street. During the Intifada the engagements and weddings were celebrated in a much more sober way to honour those who had died or were imprisoned. Meals were kept simple without music or dancing and the costs were kept low.

Nowadays some people lo(...)

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Zucchinis of Beit Sahour

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

There is no great difference in food preparation between Palestinian villages and towns. However, some villages are known for their specialties. Beit Sahour, for example, a town to the east of Bethlehem, is famous for its zucchinis stuffed with grape leaves in tomato sauce. It is said that the best zuchinis grow on the lands of this town. Most inhabitants of Beit Sahour are Christians. After (...)

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Food preparation during the first Intifada

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

The Intifada, the Palestinian uprising which lasted from 1987 up till 1991-2, had a deep impact on Palestinian society. In response to the grave economic and political situation, people were forced to return to old cooking and eating customs. There often was a shortage of electricity. Because of the lack of food during for instance the long curfews, and because many Palestinians decided to bo(...)

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Fishery and fish recipes in Gaza

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

Some 15 years ago Gaza was renowned for its large fish market. There you could find all kinds of fish including sardines, mullets, red bream and horse mack. As there were no long closures people had access to markets in the West Bank and Israel. The recent political changes have played havoc with the fishermen. Nowadays you can hardly speak of a Gaza fishery. The restrictions in using the har(...)

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Gaza’s specialty: Hot pepper and fish

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

One can hardly speak about a typical Gazan dish: 40% of the population are refugees coming from different villages and towns all over former Palestine. The Gazan kitchen has been shaped by many other kitchens, including the Egyptian kitchen (Gaza was controlled by Egypt between 1948 and 1967). For instance, in Gaza you often find full, a very nutritious kind of beans that is popular in Egypt.(...)

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Palestinian women and food preparation

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

With modern equipments entering the Palestinian kitchen, the preparation of food has become easier and less time consuming. But do women therefore spend less time in the kitchen?

Hanan, from Artas: "On the contrary. In the past the mother had to work in the fields. She fed the cattle and besides she took care of the children. Life has become much more comfortable for the woman. She has(...)

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BEDOUIN FOOD

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

To understand Arab and Palestinian food traditions it is important to go back to one of the roots of Arabic culinary culture: Bedouin life. Traditionally, Middle Eastern Bedouin followed a nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyle. They lived in tents made of camel or goat hair. The Bedouin in the Negev tended sheep and camels which provided them with cheese, butter and yoghurt. The yoghurt was dried(...)

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