Being a vegetarian in Jordan
Jordan, a predominantly Arabic country has a lot to offer to a true food lover. If you are wondering what to order as a vegetarian in Jordan, you are in the right place! Right from succulent kebabs to wholesome maqluba, Jordanians love their meat. Still, Vegetables and pulses do find their way on Jordanian platter. Most of which is in the form of dips, sides and salad there is very little or no main course vegetarian options. The average cost of a vegetarian meal in Jordan is 3 JD.
What to order as a vegetarian in Jordan
This is vegetarian’s best friend in Jordan. It is similar to what tapas would be in Spain. A variety of fresh salads, dips ( hummus, moutabel and labneh) stuffed vine leaves (dolma), mixed pickled vegetables are some of the popular cold mezze. Hot mezze comprises dishes like stewed tomatoes (galayat bandura), crispy fried falafel, stuffed pastries (fatayer) and more. Being a mezze lover, I could easily eat this day in and day out throughout my trip. (Cost: 1.5 JD to 3JD)
Soup and Main course:
There’s not much of the main course for vegetarians, a few restaurants serve baked or grilled vegetables with a drizzle of olive oil along with rice or local bread. Ful is one such Jordanian dish that can be consumed as a part of any meal, best eaten as the main course. Well cooked fava beans, mashed up with seasoning and topped with olive oil, sumac, tahini (sesame seed paste) and some finely chopped tomatoes. Fresh lentil soup (homestyle) can be found at most of the place and makes for a good vegetarian dish. Say bye-bye to the vegetarian curry while you are in Jordan. However, I was lucky to have my host cook Vegetarian curry for me in Wadi Rum. Also with so much going on in your mezze platter, you would hardly want to have the main course. (Cost: 3JD to 5JD)
Jordan is a country where it is okay to have Hummus as a part of all your meals. And why not? Mezze is a part of breakfast in all the places, the breakfast consists of local khobz bread, labneh, hummus, yoghurt, zaatar, olives, butter, eggs and jam. (Cost: Was included in the stay)
Jordanian salads are fresh and extremely flavoursome. You can try from a variety of salads available: Fattoush – Tomato, cucumber, lettuce, and radish with toasted pitta bread croutons and dressing of tangy sumac, mint, parsley, lemon, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar. Tabbouleh – Parsley is the star of the show in this green salad with supporting parts from bulgar wheat, tomato, onion, mint, lemon and olive oil. It’s often scooped up with a lettuce leaf. Other combinations include Boiled chickpeas and bell pepper, carrots tossed in a mustard and honey dressing, a variety of sprouts mixed together. The list goes on and on, let your taste buds enjoy the platter. (Cost: 2 JD to 4JD)
Two main sandwiches that a vegetarian could relish are Falafel sandwich and Halloumi Sandwich. These generally come with a spread of hummus, lettuce and tomatoes. (Cost: 1.5 JD to 3JD)
Jordan, just like India, runs on tea. The tea is black, extremely sweet with different herbs infused – Hibiscus, mint or thyme. I absolutely loved the Bedouin tea (with thyme). Almost had an overdose of sugar, drinking the oh-so-yummy Jordanian herbal tea (black tea with sage leaves), I did my best subsiding the sugar levels by gulping down some Turkish coffee, every now and then. (Cost: 0.5 JD to 1.5JD)
Cost of eating out in Jordan
The local dishes of Jordan include Pita, Falafels, Kebabs, Shawarma, the variety of spreads and some traditional Bedouin dishes. While meat is dominant in Arabic cuisine, yet, vegetarians have quite a few options to choose from.
I almost had an overdose of sugar, drinking Jordanian herbal tea (black tea with sage leaves). I did my best subsiding the sugar levels by gulping down strong Turkish coffee. The cost of eating out in Jordan can be minimal if you pick restaurants carefully and stick to national dishes. A falafel sandwich or a Shawarma would cost you about 0.75 JD to 1.0 JD, while in touristy places like Petra it would cost 3 JD-5JD. Tea most places would cost 0.5 JD and a Turkish coffee ranges from 1.50 JD to 2.JD.
Bustling cities like that of Amman and Aqaba has a number of western food joints – Starbucks, MC-Donalds, Burger King, Costa Coffee, Dominoes and more, prices there is pretty much the standard as in India.
Read also: The Ultimate Guide to Jordan.