This is an easy hearty recipe that was one of my late uncle’s Jack (khali) favorite dishes. He was my mother’s only brother and passed away about 12 years ago. So I can’t help but think of him when I cook this recipe. I would like to tribute this dish to his soul and say a few things about him. Khali immigrated to Germany in his early twenties. Married to a German woman, and settled there. But his love and passion for family and food always pulled him back to his roots. He was such an interesting person, loved life to the fullest, young at heart, and fun to be around.
So back to food and more about today’s recipe. Qalayet bandoura yakhni, there are two different qalayet bandoura dishes within the Palestinian cuisine, one which is the vegan dish that is cooked in garlic and olive oil and perhaps more popular. And the second is this recipe that comes from the yakhni family. Yakhni which I talked about in other recipes is more like a stew. So this dish is cooked with meat and served with a side of rice.
Although tomatoes are available all year round summer fresh tomatoes have a unique flavor and since I have some tomatoes shared from my neighbor’s garden, I decided to make this dish.
His career with the Lufthansa airlines allowed him to travel a lot, so he would visit Palestine often and sometimes more than once a year. It’s true he lived far away from his home country and his family but was always close at heart. He never missed calling any of his close and extended family members’ on their birthdays, his memory of everyone’s birthdays always impressed me.
He always made sure before his visit that my mother has all his favorite Palestinian dishes ready, so he would give her a list of the dishes he is craving and qalayet bandoura was always on the top of the list. I think my uncle’s story represents how we all, who live in the diaspora feel about our homeland. Rest in peace khalo I miss you and may your memory be eternal.
Here is how to make Qalayet Bandoura yakhniPrint
This is an easy hearty recipe that was one of my late uncle’s Jack (khali) favorite dishes. He was my mother’s only brother and passed away about 12 years ago. So I can’t help but think of him when I cook this recipe.
- 1 pound ground minced meat (Beef or Lamb)
- 1 white onion (finely chopped)
- Jalapeno (optional)
- 6–5 medium size ripe tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
- 1 tablespoon oil (any oil)
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- Spices for the meat (a pinch of each: nutmeg and Cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon allspice)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- salt and pepper
- In a pot heat oil and start by sautéing chopped onions until they are caramelized, add jalapeno peppers (optional). Add meat with spices, integrate meat well with onions, keep on medium heat with occasional sautéing, about 15 minutes, and until meat is fully cooked.
- Meanwhile, peel tomatoes skin, the easiest way is to place all tomatoes in a pot and pour boiling hot water. Leave them for 5 minutes, then pour water out, and the skin will come off easily. Once the skin is peeled chop tomatoes into cubes.
- Pour tomatoes over meat mix, integrate well, let it boil then turn the heat on low and let it simmer for 20 minutes. You may add tomato paste for an extra kick. Add salt, allspice, and cinnamon, mix well continue to simmer for 2 minutes.
Served hot with a side of place rice or vermicelli rice.
This recipe makes 4 servings.