I learned (by watching) how to make my first dish – although I don’t know the details. I did learn a bunch of important vocab, however. Like cardamom (hill) and almonds (louz), both of which are integral components of ouzi, currently my favorite, maybe second favorite, Jordanian dish. Picture a huge mound of rice and shi’iriyyah (short noodley things), topped generously with ground meat sautéed with onions, garlic, and peas (and something like pounds of cardamom), then that topped with chicken cooked in cardamom, and all that topped with just a few handfuls sprinkling of toasted shelled almonds. Zaki kateer jiddan! Serve with a side of salata (guess) – cucumbers (khayaar), tomatoes (bandura), parsley (ba’adunis), salt (malaH), lemon (limon), and oil (zayt) – and I challenge you to find me a better meal anywhere.
Oh, and I forgot that iftaar always begins with dates (tamar) and soup. Now that’s a challenge.