From my "Plated Heirlooms"

Allayet Bandora,

A Palestinian cuisine recipe, is a thick and pulpy tomato sauce made by stir frying tomatoes and garlic in olive oil. This dish is usually served as an appetiser or mezze in buffets, or alongside grills, BBQs… It is traditionally served with Arabic pita bread, but can be poured over meats and steaks as well. It is a very good accompaniment to Mujadara (a traditional Palestinian dish of lentils & rice or freekeh). Allayehet Bandora also pairs well with varieties of rice-based dishes such as Bukhari Rice (yellow rice), Maloubet Beitinjan and even with Sayyadiyeh (a fish and rice dish)…etc. otherwise, you can simply serve this Allayeh as a dip next to varieties of breads and bread sticks or on a cheeseboard for having with the cheese varieties on display.

Allayet Bandoora is a beautiful and delicious yet very simple dish, with much depth to its flavour. It is an absolute crowd pleaser. I like mine to be spicy, so I add my beautiful DS Shatta in its making, but you can go for a non-spicy version if that’s what you prefer, simply ommit the shatta in the recipe below.

Finally, and since Palestinian cuisine is all about people’s relationship and tie with earth it is only fitting that I include a video (below) here that shows you how to grow tomatoes from seed. The method shown here is super easy and guaranteed. What I love the most about it is that it makes use of tomatoes you bought and have not used, which instead of going to waste are recycled into great tomato trees that will supply you with endless tomatoes. There is not enough I can say about that! So I will leave it up to you to watch, grow and make this delicious Allayeh that is the perfect side to so many dishes and fantastic dip to serve anytime!


Serves: 8
  • 2 large eggplants, peeled and sliced into thick disks
  • 1Kg ripe tomatoes, peeled & chopped (deseeded optional)
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  • 1-2 tbsp DS Organic Red Shatta (optional for spicy)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups fresh tomato juice
  • DS Pink Himalayan Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp DS Premium Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp DS Organic Sumac
  • 1 handful of finely chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  • 3 tbsp toasted pine seeds

Peel and slice the eggplants, then fry or roast them and set them aside to drain and cool.

In the meantime, in a large saucepan, sweat the garlic and shatta in the olive oil, but do not brown.

Add the chopped tomatoes and stir fry until heated through. Season with salt and black pepper and stir a couple of times, then add the tomato juice and tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Bring to a boil.

Once boiled, reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once reduced and thickened, remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts until golden and set aside.

Place the eggplant disks at the bottom of the serving dish, then sprinkle with sumac all over. Pour the tomato mixture over to cover the eggplants.

Garnish with chopped parsley and the toasted pine nuts, then drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with sumac.

Serve warm or cold.

This recipe is from the repertoire of over 280 recipes in my book Plated Heirlooms. The book contains recipes from all sections of the Palestinian cuisine, starting with Mooneh (pantry recipes) to dessert and everything in between. Plated Heirlooms is a documentation of recipes and cuisine rationale as well as the compiled story of the cuisine.

All Plated Heirlooms recipes come with background information and thorough descriptions that in the end tie up with the rest of the book’s narrative to explain to you the formation and makings of Palestinian cuisine.

You can order “Plated Heirlooms” here and we will ship it to you anywhere in the world.

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