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Travel Guide 2   >   Israel   >   Recipes


Israeli Recipes

As a relatively young ountry with many recent immigrants, Israel is still developing its own style of cuisine. As you might expect, immigrants to the country have brought many traditional Jewish recipes from all over the world to the country, some of which have become popular outside their original ethnic group. Additionally, another strand of Israeli cuisine, known as "Israeli-Mizrahi cuisine", which is influenced by Arab cooking, has developed.

Some popular Israeli dishes include:
  • Matbucha -Tomatoes, roasted peppers, oil and garlic are cooked together, allowed to cool, and then eaten together as a salad.

  • Israeli salad - A simple salad made by finely chopping cucumber and tomato. Parsley and spring onions may optionally be added. It is usually dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.

  • Labneh - Yogurt strained to remove the whey.

  • Bourekas - Savoury pastries.

  • Sambusac - Small triangular or crescent-moon shaped fried pastries, containing various savory fillings, such as chickpeas, ground (minced) meat and onions, or cheese.

  • Malawach - A thin bread made of many layers, similar to a crêpe.

  • Sabich - A sandwich originally from Iraq. It is made by filling pita bread with peeled and fried eggplant (aubergine), hard-boiled egg, hummus, tahini, tomato, cucumber, onion, and optionally amba (mango pickle) and/or chilli sauce.

  • Mujadara - Rice with lentils and onions.

  • Falafel - Fried Balls made of fava beans or chickpeas.

  • Chopped liver - A spread made from sautéed liver and onions in rendered animal fat ("schmaltz) with hard-boiled eggs and seasoning.

  • Skhug, also known as "kharif" - Originally from Yemen, skhuge is a spicy dip made from fresh hot peppers, garlic, coriander and various spices. It can be made from red peppers ("skhug adom"), green peppers ("skhug yarok), or green peppers with tomatoes added ("skhug chum").


  • Jachnun - Rolled dough, slowly baked over night for approximately 10 hours. When cooked, it is eaten with tomato dip, hard boiled eggs and skhug.

  • Kibbeh - Ground (minced) meat, flour and spices, made into torpedo shapes, and then fried.


  • Shakshouka - Eggs, tomatoes, onions and garlic. Usually eaten with pita bread.

  • Shawarma - The Israeli version of doner kebab. It is served with pita bread and salad, as well as hummus or French fries.

  • Halvah - A dessert or sweet made from sesame tahini, sugar, vanilla and saponaria (a herb).
Here are some recipe books and cookbooks for Israeli food:

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Books about Israeli Cooking and Recipes

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Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors From My Israeli Kitchen

By Adeena Sussman

Released: 2019-09-03
Hardcover (368 pages)

Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors From My Israeli Kitchen
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Product Description:
"The pages of this book ooze with [Adeena's] passion for the romance and beauty of Israeli cuisine. The recipes are soulful, elemental, and stunningly delicious."
--from the foreword by Michael Solomonov

In an Israeli cookbook as personal as it is global, Adeena Sussman celebrates the tableau of flavors the region has to offer, in all its staggering and delicious variety

In Hebrew (derived from the original Arabic), sababa means "everything is awesome," and it's this sunny spirit with which the American food writer and expat Adeena Sussman cooks and dreams up meals in her Tel Aviv kitchen. Every morning, Sussman makes her way through the bustling stalls of Shuk Hacarmel, her local market, which sells irresistibly fresh ingredients and tempting snacks--juicy ripe figs and cherries, locally made halvah, addictive street food, and delectable cheeses and olives. In Sababa, Sussman presents 125 recipes for dishes inspired by this culinary wonderland and by the wide-varying influences surrounding her in Israel.

Americans have begun to instinctively crave the spicy, bright flavors of Israeli cuisine, and in this timely cookbook, Sussman shows readers how to use border-crossing kitchen staples-- tahini, sumac, silan (date syrup), harissa, za'atar---to delicious effect, while also introducing more exotic spices and ingredients. From Freekeh and Roasted Grape Salad and Crudo with Cherries and Squeezed Tomatoes, to Schug Marinated Lamb Chops and Tahini Caramel Tart, Sussman's recipes make a riot of fresh tastes accessible and effortless for the home cook. Filled with transporting storytelling, Sababa is the ultimate, everyday guide to the Israeli kitchen.

Modern Israeli Cooking: 100 New Recipes for Traditional Classics

By Danielle Oron

Page Street Publishing
Released: 2017-11-14
Paperback (240 pages)

Modern Israeli Cooking: 100 New Recipes for Traditional Classics
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Oron studied at The French Culinary Institute―now the International Culinary Center―and draws cooking inspiration from her Israeli and Moroccan background. Oron is the chef and owner of Moo Milk Bar in Toronto. In Modern Israeli Cooking, Oron offers an incredible collection of Israeli recipes for the modern home cook.

Oron takes inspiration from dishes like Schnitzel platters, potato latkes and falafel and adapts them with a modern eye to create Israeli-inspired recipes like Cornflake-Crusted Schnitzel Sandwiches with Pickled Radishes and Spicy Mayo, Latkes Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon and Herby Sour Cream Sauce, and Green Spinach Falafel.

Even the format gets a modern twist with chapters like Weekdays―Everyday Kind of Food; Friday―Special dishes made on Shabbat or holidays; Beach―Just like sitting in Tel Aviv on the beach; Midnight―It's late, and you're hungry aka the carb chapter; and more.

The Best of Israeli Food Culture: 25 Amazing Israeli Food Recipes

By Sophia Freeman

Released: 2019-05-20
Kindle Edition (53 pages)

The Best of Israeli Food Culture: 25 Amazing Israeli Food Recipes
Product Description:
Israeli food culture dates back to centuries. In fact, honey and milk which are featured heavily in their food were mentioned in the bible. Apart from that, Israeli food is heavily influenced by Arabs and Jews. Also, Israeli food is a representation of different countries because the Jewish occupied different places and this contributed to the development of these dishes. In fact, it takes from Germany, Spain, and the Middle-East.

Israeli cuisine is a fusion of different places and cultures, so it is very rich in all the components that make food great – the right dose of deliciousness and history. If you think you cannot pull this off, this book is created to help you.

In this book, you will find 25 Israeli recipes that will make your heart flutter and your eyes light up. These recipes cut across all courses, so you have something for every time of the day. You will find delicious Israeli breakfast recipes, lunches, side dishes, snacks, and desserts. There is a lot to uncover in this book, so why don’t you let us get to it?

Israeli Soul: Easy, Essential, Delicious

By Michael Solomonov

Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Released: 2018-10-16
Hardcover (384 pages)

Israeli Soul: Easy, Essential, Delicious
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For their first major book since the trailblazing Zahav, Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook go straight to the food of the people—the great dishes that are the soul of Israeli cuisine. Usually served from tiny eateries, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, or market stalls, these specialties have passed from father to son or mother to daughter for generations. To find the best versions, the authors scoured bustling cities like Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa, and sleepy towns on mountaintops. They visited bakeries, juice carts, beaches, even weddings. 
Their finds include meals in the hand like falafel and pita; juicy, grilled and roasted spice-rubbed meats; stuffed vegetables; a wealth of chopped vegetable salads; a five-minute fluffy hummus with more than two dozen toppings; pastries, ice creams, and shakes. Solomonov has perfected and adapted every recipe for the home kitchen.
Each chapter weaves history with contemporary portrayals of the food. Striking photographs capture all its flavor and vitality, while step-by-step how-tos and closeups of finished dishes make everything simple and accessible.

Divine Food: Israeli and Palestinian Food Culture and Recipes

Released: 2016-10-31
Hardcover (304 pages)

Divine Food: Israeli and Palestinian Food Culture and Recipes
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Product Description:
Israel and Palestine share an outstanding and dynamic cuisine. Divine Food is a visually striking collection of recipes from local markets, Arab traditions, the nomadic tribes of the desert, and the hip restaurants of Tel Aviv.

Divine Food takes readers on a culinary journey through Israeli and Palestinian cuisine and its local varieties ―from the Arab- Jewish kitchen of the north to nomadic specialties of the Negev Desert, from the contemporary food scene of Tel Aviv to the fish dishes of the coast.

The book presents a wide range of delicious recipes. Because the food of the region is characterized by authenticity and tradition, it also provides insight into the origins of iconic dishes. Both a stunning regional portrait and a go-to cookbook, Divine Food is a must-have for any foodie.


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