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Alayet bandora (fried tomatoes)

'It always amazes me how simple ingredients can make such a delicious and balanced dish'

As a busy mum of three, sometimes I buy produce and forget about it, only for it to go soft, leaving me trying to find ways to use it up. The Alayet bandora, which translates to fried or sauteed tomatoes, this recipe is one of my favourite ways to use up soft and squishy tomatoes.

This dish is very popular in the Levant but is believed to originate in Jordan, in the Jordan Valley, known as Jordan's breadbasket. Much of the region's produce is grown in this fertile area. This dish is very popular during camping trips because the ingredients are easy to transport, don't go off quickly, and the dish is super easy to make, not to mention absolutely delicious.

It always amazes me how simple ingredients can make such a delicious and balanced dish. The fruity acidic tomatoes pair well with the garlic and heat of the chilis, and the mint just ties all of the flavours together. I like to cook my tomatoes with the skin on, as I like the added texture and nutrients, but if you prefer, you can easily peel your tomatoes by making a small x on the bottom of each tomato and putting them in a bowl of boiling water for about a minute. Place in cold water and pull back the skin on each tomato before roughly chopping. The addition of chilis is optional, but if you like heat, it is definitely recommended. The dish comes together in a matter of minutes, and once ready, scoop it up with some pita bread and enjoy this for breakfast, lunch or dinner with a side of homemade fries; believe me, you don't want to miss out on this delicious combination.

Ingredients 

Serves 4

3 tbsp olive oil

8 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

6-8 garlic cloves, mashed

Chillies to taste

Salt and pepper

Dried mint

Instructions

  1. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and add the garlic.
  2. Once the garlic is fragrant, add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat until the tomatoes begin to soften.
  3. Mix in the chillies and dried mint and continue to cook, using your wooden spoon to break down the tomatoes.
  4. Cook for 10 minutes or until tomatoes are soft, but still have some texture.
  5. Spoon into a serving dish and serve alongside hot pita bread and homemade fries and enjoy!

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