Published: 2017-08-26 01:39:07 BdST
In Hebron, a biblical town in the Israeli-occupied territory, Eyad Abu Seena runs his family’s qedra shop, where potted meat bakes over rice in an open oven in the wall. For many, Hebron has the best food in the West Bank.
“The qedra is part of the heritage of the people of Hebron,” Abu Senena says. “People come from all over – from Amman, from Jerusalem, from (West Bank towns in) the north like Jenin and Tulkarm. They come especially to Hebron to eat the qedra.”
A Palestinian man serves knafa, a sweet semolina and cheese pastry, at al Aqsa sweet shop in the historic covered market of Nablus in the West Bank August 10, 2017. Reuters
“Everyone who comes to Jerusalem must eat at Abu Shukri,” he said.
Palestinian cuisine isn’t just about hummus or falafel. There are other beloved traditions, like vine leaves and mashed vegetables stuffed with rice and minced meat.
A Palestinian man serves red meat stuffed with rice at a restaurant in Hebron in the West Bank August 9, 2017. Reuters
“Everyone has their own way of making it,” said Raida Salhout, who lives in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber and often cooks a big vat for her family’s lunch.
Usually made at home, maqlouba is an economically flexible dish: when prices rise or money is tight, Palestinians opt for chicken or more potatoes instead of meats like beef and lamb.
Palestinians eat molokhya at a home in Jerusalem August 10, 2017. Reuters
He learned the art of zarb from his father, who cooked it for fun. A few years ago, he decided to open a restaurant with a wedding hall and special zarb oven to keep the tradition going.
Passion for keeping culinary heritage alive is what makes the knafa of Nablus so renowned, said Basil al-Shantir.
Palestinians prepare knafa, a sweet semolina and cheese pastry, at al Aqsa sweet shop in the historic covered market of Nablus in the West Bank August 10, 2017. Reuters