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Cooking Lessons: Galayat Bandoura Edition

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Recently Hope, Elizabeth, (two college students who are in Amman and gifting the shop their presence one day a week) and Katye had the privilege of a private cooking lesson with Oola. It was a grand time with limited verbal communication, much laughter, and many smiles. Hope and Elizabeth brushed up on the Arabic words for onion, garlic, green pepper, and tomato. Oola thought it quite entertaining when it came time to chop onions and Katye had to take a break because there were tears rolling down her face. "Kwaise" and "Shatra," words meaning good and smart, were  repeated many times by the patient instructor. So, for you at home. Here is the recipe for Galayat Bandoura.
Amounts are relative. Basically the tomatoes should be the main ingredient with a good amount of green pepper and onion to compliment it. Oola used a whole head of garlic for this batch serving 14 people. And, in the case of garlic, more is generally better. Seasonings are completely up to your discretion as our expert Oola just poured them in while we stirred. 
1. Peel the tomatoes. 
2. Dice green pepper and tomatoes. Do not combine, yet.
3. Cut onions into long strips. It's okay to cry. Just be sure to picture Oola's sweet smiling face. 
4. Chop or mince garlic. Either way is fine. 
5. In a pot large enough to combine all the ingredients, coat the bottom with sunflower oil or olive oil, add garlic, onion, and green pepper.
6. After these have cooked a little, add tomatoes. 
7. Bring to boil and simmer, stirring often.
8. Add salt and white pepper. 
9.Cover and simmer until the combination is the consistency of salsa. Stirring occasionally. 
10. Serve with pita bread. Preferably with the dish in the middle of the table circled by friends and family. And if you can manage to serve it with a kettle of chai, all the better. Enjoy! 
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Guest Tuesday, 25 June 2019