Move over Jamie Oliver, Radio Lajee now has its very own celebrity chef!
Meet 23-year old Amal Abu Srour, a trainee human rights lawyer with a keen passion for cooking and an uncanny knack of preparing delicious Palestinian dishes time and time again. In this, her first podcast, Amal teaches us how to make the Palestinian favourite, “Qalayet Bendorra” AKA Fried Tomatoes Palestinian Style. Sahtain o’affyah!
So, we should cut the pepper and the tomatoes. When I am too busy, I don’t remove the skin of the tomatoes…But, if you have time, you can remove the skin. If you don’t have the time, “khallas” (in Arabic) – don’t worry about it. We just slice the tomatoes into bite-size pieces and also the capsicum, we cut it into small pieces and the onion also, we should cut it into small pieces.
So, we will start the “Qallayet Bendorra” / Fried Tomatoes Palestinian Style. We should put [some] olive oil into the frying pan…and we should put [the] onion into the olive oil. I learnt from my Grandmother to not let the olive oil boil – it’s not good if the olive oil boils. We should wait [until] the onion turns golden.
I love cooking…and this is very delicious – I like to do it all the time. This meal is very good for those who don’t have [much] time.
Now [that] the onion has turned golden, we can put the tomato pieces and the green pepper into the onion. Leave it to simmer for 7 minutes and cover it.
After around 7 – 10 minutes check to make sure that the tomatoes and the green pepper are tender. [Then] take the lid off and let [all] the moisture [in the pan] evaporate. And then, I want to add some salt and black pepper…as you like.
It smells delicious. “Taybe”, “zarkey”, yummy… “Zarkey” in Arabic, yanni delicious. [Laughs] “Yanni” means, ‘means’…
So, we need to turn the heat down, then we should take the garlic…and use the garlic press – (it’s good the garlic press, I like it very much) and put it into the fried tomatoes. I like the smell of the garlic.
I started cooking when I was 14. I used to help my mother in the kitchen. Now, I cook for my whole family – I enjoy it. As a Palestinian, food is a very important part of our life.
Sometimes, I don’t [use the] green pepper. [This dish] is very delicious with eggs. In Syria, they call Fried Tomatoes with Egg, “Juzz Muzz” – I don’t know what it means.
So, I’ve finished now this delicious, yummy Fried Tomatoes or “Qallayet Bendorra” in Arabic. Generally, we serve it here in Palestine with hot, flat “khoubbers” [laughs] – hot, flat “khoubbers” – hot, flat bread in Arabic. So, I hope you enjoy your meal!