Whether you experience a little discomfort or end up with serious trouble… A gluten allergy is always difficult when it comes to traveling abroad. How do you explain your condition to locals? And what can you eat? Learn all about going gluten free in Jordan! 

Maglooba - the upside down one-pot gluten free Jordanian dish!
Maglooba – the upside down one-pot gluten free Jordanian dish!

Gluten free in Jordan

Gluten allergies are not really known in Jordan. It’s better known in the bigger cities such as Amman, where there more and more gluten free menu’s and food are on offer. If you go to the high end restaurants and 5* hotels you will find professionals who know everything about gluten, cross contamination and how to avoid that last one.

But most of the locals don’t know what it is, let stand ever heard about it. Therefore we provide everyone with a gluten allergy, with a document that explains a gluten allergy  in Arabic what you can and can’t eat. You can also show it to the locals when going to any restaurant. We also always communicate your food preferences and allergies to the hotels and restaurants when you pre-book your meals.

Maglooba - Jordanian gluten free dish
Maglooba – Jordanian gluten free dish

Gluten free dishes

It might surprise you but there are many dishes in Jordan that are gluten free! Think about the delicious local mezzes with dips such as hummus*, baba ganouch*, Dawali (Rice stuffed grape leaves) or Makdoosh (garlic and hazelnut stuffed baby aubergines). Another great gluten free starter is Lentil soup, a nice full soup with loads of protein but especially taste.

There is no such thing as gluten free bread in Jordan. You can buy it at select amount of selling points and in Amman only. For example at Crumz or at the “Beat tha wheat shop’ in Cozmo 7th circle. If you’re don’t have the opportunity to go here, it’s better to bring your own gluten free crackers or bread and dip away; going gluten free in Jordan!

Be careful though, some of these dishes contain *tahini (sesame paste), which may be processed in a factory that also processes wheat.

Makdoush : stuffed baby aubergines - Gluten free in Jordan
Makdoush : stuffed baby aubergines – Gluten free in Jordan

Gluten free main courses

You can eat a variety of main courses. Jordan is rich in one-pot rice dishes such as Maglooba. It’s a one-pot upside down rice dish, with veggies, potatoes, chicken, sprinkled with roasted peanuts and parsley. Or go for the traditional Zarb Dinner, the famous Bedouin dish that’s prepared under the ground. It consists of roasted chicken and a variety of roasted vegetables. But also dishes such as Bamia and Mlokhia are incredibly delicious and gluten free. Bamia is made out of okra’s in tomato sauce. Mlokhia is a kind of spinach soup full of garlic. Both are traditionally eaten together with rice.

Dishes to watch out for, they contain gluten:

  • Fattoush salad. Part of this salad is deep-fried bread.
  • Foul: Although this dish is made of beans, they often come from cans before being processed into this dish.
  • Tabouleh: Parsley salad that contains couscous.
  • Any pastry or other types of bread.

Please note that you always should be very careful with what you eat. The above list is just a small one; the Arabic cuisine contains many many dishes and varieties of them, making it impossible to list all of the Arabic dishes that contain gluten.

NOT GLUTEN FREE - Tabouleh salad - parsley salad with couscous. Watch out!
NOT GLUTEN FREE – Tabouleh salad – parsley salad with couscous. Watch out!

Other allergies

Also when you have other allergies, you can come to Jordan. Our travel consultants live in the country and can help you with an advise on what (not) to eat and give you a proper advise on food in Jordan. We also create wonderful itineraries that meet all of your wishes! Contact us any time and we’re more than happy to help.

 

Generous meals in Beit al Baraka
Generous meals in Beit al Baraka
A typical Arabic breakfast – do you know what’s gluten free?

 

A special thanks goes to Mariangela, our favorite Chef in Jordan and Italian Chef the Cuisine of Hilton Dead Sea for the extra tips and tricks about going gluten free in Jordan!