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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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Sweets, Holidays and Family Recipes - Israeli-Mediterranean Cookbook (Cook In Israel - Kosher Recipes, Mediterranean Cooking 1)

By Orly Ziv

Released: 2013-12-25
Kindle Edition (101 pages)

Sweets, Holidays and Family Recipes - Israeli-Mediterranean Cookbook (Cook In Israel - Kosher Recipes, Mediterranean Cooking 1)
Product Description:

Fresh and healthy Mediterranean flavors easily explained.

Sweets, Holidays and Family Recipes presents 34 selected no-fail recipes, inspired by Mediterranean Israeli cooking. The recipes are accompanied by beautiful color photographs, easy explanations and clarifications and step-by-step photos that make the recipes easy to follow.

Winner of the Gourmand World Cookbooks Awards (2013).

Sweets, Holidays and Family Recipes includes Mediterranean dishes such as Greek Eggplant-pie, meatballs in tomato sauce (with a special Sephardic twist!) and the perfect (classic, but brilliantly simple) chocolate cake that every home cook needs master. It easily explains known Mediterranean cuisine such as and Malabi and delicious almond-cookies, as well as sweet and savory dishes such as potato pancakes (“levivot”), leek patties and zucchini pancakes, suitable for Jewish holidays or any time of year.

User-friendly cookbook that will earn a permanent spot in your kitchen.

All recipes included in Sweets, Holidays and Family Recipes are Kosher, and most are vegetarian. They all present fresh flavors and exquisite tastes, and include Mediterranean ingredients, such as tahini and fresh vegetables. The book also includes authentic family recipes that have been passed down in the author’s family, as well as her children’s favorites dishes. All the recipes are based on simple techniques and familiar ingredients, and are suitable for weeknight meals, just as for hosting and entertaining.

Sweets, Holidays and Family Recipes includes:

  • Easy to follow, user-friendly recipes
  • New cooking tips and techniques
  • Photo of every recipe, including many step-by-step photos
  • A treasure trove of 100% kosher recipes!

Healthy and delicious home cooking doesn’t need to be time consuming or complicated! Learn how to cook delicious and healthy Israeli food like a pro, with this award winning cookbook.

Get your copy of Sweets, Holidays and Family Recipes now!

Modern Israeli Cooking: 100 New Recipes for Traditional Classics

By Danielle Oron

Oron Danielle
Released: 2015-10-13
Hardcover (240 pages)

Modern Israeli Cooking: 100 New Recipes for Traditional Classics
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  • Modern Israeli Cooking 100 New Recipes for Traditional Classics
Product Description:

An Incredible Food Culture at Its Best

Danielle Oron is on a mission to make you hungry...very hungry. She offers recipes with an incredible array of flavors, some you may not be familiar with but will want to make and eat. Her cooking has been compared to Yotam Ottolenghi. It is a vibrant, passionate culinary exploration inspired by the ancient food traditions of the region with a modern take. Each dish is clean, fresh and in a way, new again or at least uniquely Danielle's. The result is simply inspiring food that will excite food lovers from all over.

The Book of New Israeli Food: A Culinary Journey

By Janna Gur

Brand: Schocken
Released: 2008-08-26
Hardcover (304 pages)

The Book of New Israeli Food: A Culinary Journey
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In this stunning new work that is at once a coffee-table book to browse and a complete cookbook, Janna Gur brings us the sumptuous color, variety, and history of today’s Israeli cuisine, beautifully illustrated by Eilon Paz, a photographer who is intimate with the local scene.

In Gur’s captivating introduction, she describes Israeli food as a product of diverse cultures: the Jews of the Diaspora, settling in a homeland that was new to them, brought their far-flung cuisines to the table even as they looked to their Arab neighbors for additional ingredients and ideas. The delicious, easy-to-follow recipes represent all of these influences, and include some creative interpretations of classics by celebrated Israeli chefs: Beetroot and Pomegranate Salad, Fish Falafel in Spicy Harissa Mayonnaise, Homemade Shawarma, Chreime–North African Hot Fish Stew, Roasted Chicken Drumsticks in Carob Syrup. With favorite recipes for the Sabbath (Sweet Challah Traditional Chopped Liver, Chocolate and Halva Coffeecake) and for holidays (Balkan Potato and Leek Pancakes, Flourless Chocolate and Pistachio Cake), this book offers a unique culinary experience for every occasion. All of this is enriched by Paz’s gorgeous and vibrantly colored photographs and by short narratives about significant aspects of Israel’s diverse cuisine, such as the generous and unique Israeli breakfast (which grew out of the needs of Kibbutz life), locally produced cheeses that now rival those of Europe, and a dramatic renaissance of wine culture in this ancient land.

“In less than thirty years,” Janna Gur writes, “Israeli society has graduated… to a true gastronomic haven.” Here she gives us a book that does full, delectable justice to the significance of Israeli food today–Mediterranean at its heart, richly spiced, and imbued with cross-cultural flavors.

The Palomar Cookbook: Modern Israeli Cuisine

By Layo Paskin

Tomer Amedi Layo Paskin
Released: 2017-03-21
Hardcover (256 pages)

The Palomar Cookbook: Modern Israeli Cuisine
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  • The Palomar Cookbook Modern Israeli Cuisine
Product Description:

Modern Israeli recipes influenced by flavors from Southern Spain, North Africa, and the Levant
The Michelin Bib Gourmand-winning London restaurant The Palomar has won fans the world over for its elevated Middle Eastern cooking inspired by the colorful, flavorful cuisines of the region. From Beet Carpaccio with Burnt Goat Cheese and Date Syrup to Pork Belly Tajine with Ras el Hanout and Israeli couscous, these innovative dishes explore delicious ingredients like za’atar, labneh, pomegranate syrup, and tahini in everything from sharable mezze to dessert. Tucked in the middle of the book is a special cocktail section with a selection of stand-out concoctions such as Lion’s Milk and the Drunken Botanist. Brimming over with lively photographs, The Palomar Cookbook shares a new way to explore this acclaimed restaurant and its unique take on the vibrant foods of the Middle East.

Jack's Wife Freda: Cooking From New York's West Village

By Dean Jankelowitz

Released: 2017-03-21
Hardcover (256 pages)

Jack s Wife Freda: Cooking From New York s West Village
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“Walking into Jack’s Wife Freda feels like a big, warm hug. Maya and Dean serve food you want to eat, anytime, any day. Though I’ll never stop parking myself at their restaurants, I can’t wait to re-create their favorites (and mine) at home.”—Jessica Seinfeld, bestselling author of Deceptively DeliciousThe Can’t Cook Book, and Food Swings

From Jack's Wife Freda, the New York City neighborhood restaurants with a worldwide following, a gorgeously illustrated cookbook filled with beloved recipes for accessible, delicious, and inventive Jewish comfort-food cooking at home.

Jack's Wife Freda, a pair of downtown restaurants whose signs bear the illustrated face of their namesake grandma, have become part of the epicenter of Jewish comfort-food dining in New York's Greenwich Village. With their communal, casual vibe and detailed coziness, the restaurants feel like home, and everyone--from the many local regulars to thousands of tourists just passing through--is greeted like family by owners Maya and Dean Jankelowitz, and their staff. And the food is another reason you never want to leave. A tempting and imaginative meld of Jewish immigrant traditions and recipes, the menu crafted by chef Julia Jaksic borrows from the Ashkenazi and Sephardic dishes of the Jankelowitz's respective childhoods, along with the flavors of South African and Israeli cooking. Fans line up on Carmine and Lafayette Streets each morning for a taste of the legendary spicy baked Shakshuka, Eggs Benny with Beet Hollandaise, or Rosewater Waffles with Honey Syrup. The bustling lunch crowd digs into classics like Matzoh Ball Soup, paired with new favorites like Peri-Peri Chicken Wings infused with African bird's eye chili, and Maya's Grain Bowl with Turmeric Tahini Dressing. Refreshing daytime drinks including Cantaloupe Juice and Nana Tea give way to a signature New York Sour at five o'clock, alongside an appetizer of Fried Zucchini Chips with Smoked Paprika Aioli or Haloumi with Grapes. Dinnertime brings delectable crowd-pleasers that home cooks will turn to again and again: Spiced Rack of Lamb with Herbed Israeli Couscous, Duck Tagine, and Freda's Fish Balls. Malva Pudding, Yogurt Panna Cotta with Rose Syrup and more are a perfect end to any meal.

Good food enjoyed with friends and family is the foundation of Jack's Wife Freda, and Maya and Dean bring the same vibrant energy and love of great cooking and healthful eating to their first cookbook. Whether you live around the corner and pop in regularly for a favorite meal or look forward to an out-of-town visit, this beautifully illustrated and user-friendly book makes it easy to eat from Jack's Wife Freda all day, every day.

Follow on Instagram @jackswifefreda. 


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