Galayet Bandora (Jordanian Tomato Skillet). Galayet Bandora is a traditional Jordanian dish that is made in a skillet with beef, peppers, tomatoes, and spices. It literally translates to "tomato skillet". It is one of the most popular and easy to make dinners in Jordan.
Galayet Bandora in Arabic: قلاية بندورة أو مسقة بندورة
Galayet Bandora pronunciation: "Gah-lie-et Ban-dor-uh"
My Jordanian Galayet Bandora Recipe is:
- Easy to make
- Made in under 1 hour
- Great for smaller families
- Communal style recipe
Jordanian Galayet Bandora is one of my all time favorite Arabic recipes! Unlike other traditional dishes (makluba, mansaf, etc.), it can be ready in under an hour!
We have been experimenting with different cooking methods, times, and varying spices for the past 2 years and have finally come up with the best Galayet Bandora recipe! Read on to learn how to make this delicious Jordanian dish.
WHAT IS GALAYET BANDORA?
Galayet Bandora is a Palestinian and Jordanian dish of meat, fried tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, olive oil, and spices. This is a popular Jordanian dish that is shared among family as a communal meal. To make this Palestinian fried tomatoes, oil is heated in a large skillet, added by vegetables that are fried until soft, followed by the spices and meat. Galayet Bandora is served in the center of the table alongside bread (shrak), labne, and raw vegetables. It is traditionally eaten straight from the serving dish by picking with a piece of torn bread.
GALAYET BANDORA INGREDIENTS
- Fresh Halal beef
- Olive oil
- Spices: 7 spices, coriander, ginger, black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper
What to serve your Galayet Bandora with:
- Pine nuts
- Shrak (markouk)
- Fresh radishes
- Fresh green onions
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST ARABIC GALAYET BANDORA RECIPE
SALT MEAT FIRST. Salt your beef for galayet bandora and let it sit for about 30 minutes before cooking if you have time.
COOK YOUR MEAT SEPARATELY. Get the best meat texture by cooking it first before adding it to your tomato skillet.
USE FRESH 7 SPICES. Make sure you are not using old spice or you will not get a good galayet bandora flavor.
STORE 7 SPICES IN THE FREEZER. We store our Arabic spices in the freezer in an airtight bag to help them last longer and preserve the flavor.
ADD CAYENE PEPPER OR A DRIED CHILI PEPPER FOR SPICY GALAYET BANDORA.
MAKE SURE TO PICK UP SHRAK BREAD AND LABNE. Shrak bread is super thin and is the best way to eat galayet bandora.
DON'T FORGET THE TOASTED PINE NUTS!! Galayet bandora is not the same without fresh toasted pine nuts on top.
HOW TO MAKE GALAYET BANDORA
Step 1: Cook the meat
Make sure you get fresh quality meat. We get ours at an Arabic market. If you don't get quality meat, you could end up with tough and chewy meat. You want the meat to be soft and tender after it is done cooking.
When you buy the meat, ask the butcher to chop into very small pieces. If its a good Arabic market, you can just ask for meat for Galayet Bandora and they will know what you want.
Before cooking, wash your beef under cold water until the water runs clear.
3 WAYS TO COOK YOUR MEAT FOR GALAYET BANDORA
Method 1: Saute right in the pan you will add your vegetables to
This way is the quick method, but your meat might not be as soft.
To cook it this way: eat a large pan with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the beef pieces and cook until they are browned. Skip to the "how to cook your galayet bandora" below and add your onions right to the pan.
Method 2: boil in a separate pot of broth
This way will give you softer meat, but it does take a bit of time. You will have to boil meat for 1-2 hours.
To cook it this way: heat a large stock pot with oil. Brown the meat on all sides. Once the beef is browned, add 5 cups of broth or enough to completely cover it.
Cook over medium low heat to keep it at a simmer for 1 hour or until the beef is tender. Either drain the broth from the meat, or scoop the meat out of the broth to transfer to the cooked peppers below.
This is what my meat looked like after cooking it on medium low for 1 hour:
Take a piece of beef out to taste it at 45 minutes and see if it is the texture you like!
Method 3: pressure cook in an instant pot
This is our favorite way of making it! You will get the softest meat with this method. It is similar to leaving it in a slow cooker and getting that amazing slow cooked tender melt in your mouth texture.
How to make it this way: In the instant pot, heat 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil. Brown the meat on all sides using the sauté setting. Next, pour in the 5 cups of broth. Cover with the lid, turn valve to "sealing," and set to "pressure cook" on high for 30 minutes.
Step 2: Prepare Tomato Skillet Ingredients
While the meat cooks, prepare everything else, so when the meat is done, you can add it right to the pan!
The first and most important ingredients for galayet bandora you should gather are your spices.
Quality spices are CRUCIAL for a delicious Galayet Bandora.
The spices used in galayet bandora are a mix of 7 spices, ground coriander, ground ginger, and black pepper. We also like to add ground cayenne pepper or a dried chili pepper to make our galayet bandora really spicy.
Make sure you get quality 7 spices! We get ours straight from Jordan, but you should be able to find quality ones in your Arabic store.
2. The vegetables
Next, chop up 1 large yellow onion.
Dice the ½ red bell pepper and 1 jalapeno pepper very small. If you want it EXTRA SPICY, use 2 jalapenos. But, if you're making this for the first time, I would start with one.
Galayet bandora is eaten with your hands using shrak bread, so you want the peppers, tomatoes, and onions to be able to completely cook down and form a paste-like consistency.
Remove the skin from the tomatoes before chopping them.
The easiest way to remove skin from tomatoes is to blanch them in boiling water for a couple of minutes. When you see the skin cracking on the surface, the skin is ready to come off.
Once you remove the tomato skin, chop the tomatoes into very small pieces.
Step 3: cook the Galayet Bandora:
While the meat cooks, sauté the onions and peppers in your pan.
First, heat your oil over medium high heat. I use a wok because this helps to cook everything quicker and since a lot of vegetables go into this, helps to prevent any mess overflowing onto the stove!
Add the diced onions to your heated oil and cook them until they are very soft.
Next, add the peppers and cook until they are soft too.
Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, cooked beef, and spices.
Stir the spices, meat and tomatoes to completely combine.
Cover with a lid and cook over medium-low heat for 15-30 minutes or until the tomatoes are very soft and mushy.
Finally, add some salt to taste. If you want your galayet bandora to be even spicier, add a few shakes of cayenne pepper. Sometimes the jalapenos we pick out don't have as much heat as we anticipated so cayenne is a quick fix here.
Step 4: Prepare ingredients for serving
Galayet bandora is served with shrak, toasted pine nuts, labne, and fresh vegetables.
Place shrak (markouk) bread on the table.
For the toasted pine nuts: Heat about 1 tablespoon oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add about ½ cup raw pine nuts. Stir the pine nuts until they are golden brown. Turn the heat off. Note: if you do not have pine nuts, you can substitute raw slivered almonds.
For the labne: Scoop labne into a shallow bowl. Smooth the surface of the labne. Drizzle fresh olive oil over the top.
Fresh vegetables: rinse radishes and green onions under cool water. Place on a serving plate.
HOW TO SERVE YOUR GALAYET BANDORA
Scoop your finished galayet bandora onto a large serving platter with the toasted pine nuts on top.
Place your galayet bandora on the table alongside the shrak bread, labne, radishes, and green onions.
HOW TO EAT GALAYET BANDORA
The traditional way to eat galayet bandora is straight from the serving platter with bread. You won't find forks and knives alongside a traditional Jordanian dish. Simply rip a piece of bread, and pick up a piece of meat from the skillet. Eat it with or without dipping in labne.
It is so easy, flavorful, and delicious!
Eat some bites of fresh green onion or radish between bites of the meat.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we did!
Frequently asked questions about my gallayah recipe.
WHAT KIND OF MEAT SHOULD I USE IN GALAYET BANDORA?
My galayet bandora with meat recipe is made with beef. Ask for beef to be cut into small pieces. In Arabic, you would ask for pieces to be cut into "head of the bird" size.
HOW DO I COOK THE MEAT TO GET A SOFT TEXTURE?
Read below for 3 ways on how to cook your meat for your tomato skillet.
WHAT IS GALLAYAH SAUCE?
The gallayah sauce recipe is made with sautéed onions, red pepper, jalapeno pepper, tomatoes, and spices.
WHAT KIND OF TOMATOES SHOULD I USE?
The best tomatoes you can use for flavor are fresh in season vine tomatoes. If you can't find them, roma or beefsteak tomatoes can be substituted.
WHAT ARE 7 SPICES?
7 spices mix also called baharat, is a blend of paprika, coriander, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, cumin, and cardamom. Every person makes their special blend of 7 spices differently!
More Authentic Arabic Recipes:
- Jordanian Maqluba
- Jordanian Ouzi with Roast Chicken
- Ouzi Lamb
- Palestinian Musakhan
- Chicken Kabsa
- Shorbat Adas
- Arabic Chopped Salad
- Dwali (Stuffed Grape Leaves)
If you try my Arabic Galayet Bandora Recipe, please let me know your thoughts by leaving a rating and comment below! Ready for more? Subscribe to my newsletter or follow along on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube!
Galayet Bandora (قلاية بندورة أو مسقة بندورة)
- Wok or a large skillet
To cook the meat:
- 1 ½ pounds beef, chopped into small pieces
- 5 cups chicken or beef broth
For the galayet bandora:
- ¼ cup oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno, de-seeded and diced
- ½ sweet red bell pepper, diced can sub a green or yellow pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ pounds vine tomatoes, chopped very small
- 1 teaspoon 7 spices
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- salt, to taste
- dash cayenne pepper optional for more heat
- ½ cup toasted pine nuts can sub slivered almonds
- Labne can substitute plain yogurt
- Shrak (markouk)
- Fresh radishes
- Fresh green onions
How to cook the meat for galayet bandora:
- In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the pieces of beef and cook until all sides are brown. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook the beef for 45 minutes-1 hour until tender.
How to cook the galayet bandora:
- Meanwhile, in a separate large pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute till they are soft.
- Add the peppers and saute until they are soft.
- Add the garlic, tomatoes, cooked beef, and spices. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover with a lid and let it cook ~15-30 minutes.
How to serve the galayet bandora:
- Serve with toasted pine nuts on top and labne for dipping. You can use shrak bread to eat it and serve fresh radishes and green onions on the side.