Palestinian Recipes

[courtesy of Birzeit University]

Practically every household, street stall, cafe and restaurant has its own preferred way of making the basic dishes eaten every day by Palestinians. Some use a little more garlic and a bit less onion, while others pour on lemon juice and skimp on the olive oil, however the recipes on the following pages give a basic idea of what you will find on the plate in front of you here in Palestine.

So far only five recipes have found their way to me. These will be added to with time, and with your help – send us your favourite recipes for any of the food mentioned on these pages and I’ll make you a star. Send to

MusakhanMa’alubaQuick and Easy FuulHumusMtabel

serves 4
1 chicken, quartered
1½ tbs. ground sumac
pinch ground nutmeg

pinch ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper


juice of 1 lemon

1 pound red onions, finely chopped

2Tbs olive oil

½ cup rich chicken stock

flat bread

¼ cup pine nuts, toasted

Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Remove excess fat.
Combine sumac, spices & salt. Set aside 2 tsp of this mixture, mixing the rest with the lemon juice. Rub into the chicken and marinate for up to 24 hours.
Sauté the onions in olive oil, add half the chicken stock, reserved spices and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook gently for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 ° F.
Place the chicken on a baking sheet, and cover with the onion mixture. Cover with foil and cook for 20 minutes.
Lightly brush an oven dish with oil, place the flat bread on this and sprinkle with the remaining stock. Place the chicken quarters on the onions and bread, and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes or until tender and nicely browned. Serve immediately sprinkled with pine nuts.
quantities are up to you, your pan size & appetite
boneless chicken or lamb pieces
olive oil
onion slices
freshly ground black pepper
chopped garlic
fried aubergine slices or cauliflower pieces
rinsed rice

Brown the meat with the onion. Add the salt, pepper, garlic and enough water to cover the meat. Cover and cook until tender (probably for about an hour if you’re using lamb, and less with chicken). Put any remaining liquid from the meat aside.
Arrange the aubergine or cauliflower on the bottom of another pot. Layer the rice over this and then the meat. Add water or meat juices to cover the rice. Cook over a low flame for 20-30 minutes.
Place a plate over the pot and flip it over so that the vegetables and meat appear on top of a dome of rice.
Quick and Easy Fuul
Tin of fava / fuul beans
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
Salt & Pepper

Mash the beans against the side of the saucepan as you heat them.
When hot and thoroughly mashed add lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning to taste.
Eat immediately with bread.
Lemon Juice
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil
Sumac / Parsley

Soak the chickpeas for at least 12 hours, then boil until soft.
Mash the chickpeas until smooth (put some whole chickpeas aside to garnish the humus) with the tahina, salt and pepper and lemon juice. Garnish with whole chickpeas, olive oil and sumac or chopped parsley.
Onion (optional)
Parsley (optional)

Score the aubergines length-ways, and place in the oven or grill. At the same time bake the chopped onion with lemon juice and a little salt. Leave until soft.
Remove the skin from the aubergine. Mash with a little water, tahina, the onion mixture and parsley if desired.
Mix thoroughly.