3 Traditional Israeli Dishes: A mix of cultures right at your table

One of the most spectacular parts of Israel is the traditional Israeli food. Most people, before arriving in the Land of Milk and Honey think that what is known as traditional Israeli dishes are the same kinds of things Jewish people eat during the holidays and that is simply not true. Actually, many Israelis haven’t even tried a good piece of gefilte fish and don’t even know what kreplach are.

In this short, yet very tasty, article, we will go over 3 of the most traditional dishes in the Israeli cuisine. But before we start swimming deeper into this delicious subject, you should know that Israeli society is made up of people from all over the world, so what we consider “typically Israeli” might actually have been the most famous dish of Morocco, Yemen, Georgia or Iraq at some point or another.

Do you remember when we mentioned the most amazing Israeli street food? Well, we’re not going to talk about these dishes now. Just in case you thought we were going to mention shawarma or hummus, you are also wrong. Today, we want to give you something new… some dishes you may not even know about. We want to tempt your appetite and with it, your desire to learn Hebrew, grab a plane and come to Israel.

So, is your passport up to date? Are you ready to feel a bit hungry? Here we go!

Yemen, Levant, Iraq and Israel itself: Food from all over!

As we said before, “Israeli” food comes from many places around the world. Many of these places are in the same area of the planet, but their cultures, flavors and types of people are as different as the weathers of Los Angeles and the Sahara.

Today we are bringing you 3 phenomenal dishes. Feel free to look up a recipe and if it comes out well, leave us a note in the comments below or invite us to your next meal… We would be delighted to attend!

Enough talking, right? It is time to mention the food!

Jahnun or Jachnun

Jachnun is originally from Yemen. It is a pastry that was traditionally served during breakfast on Shabbat. According to Gil Marks, who researched and wrote a lot about Jewish food, both jachnun and malawach (also a delicious dish you must try), probably originated as variations of Sephardic Jewish puff pastry and was brought to Yemen by Jews expelled from Spain.

Jachnun is a kind of sweet-ish roll of dough, that has to be baked for long hours at a very low temperature. In general, it is served with hard-boiled eggs and a fresh, cold bowl of grated tomatoes.

Jachnun is very tasty but highly caloric… so go slow on this one! Enjoy it, a lot, but do not abuse it.


According to Wikipedia, Kubba “(…) is a dish made of onions, bulgur, and any sort of meat, mixed up with Middle Eastern spices (…)”. Kubba can be shaped in many different styles and depending on the ingredients you use, it can have a beautiful red color, or it can even be yellow.

Nowadays, this Levantine dish is very famous all over Israel and it has conquered the hearts of everyone. Even those who came from tiny towns around Poland and were used to more lightly flavored food.

A simple recipe that can get you a lot of compliments. Rice, onions, meat, dough, spices, and a big serving of love. That is all you need.

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Israeli Salad

This is a very, very typical Israeli dish. For all salad lovers, this one is a must when coming to Israel, or when missing the huge breakfast you had on your last trip to the land of our matriarchs and patriarchs.

The Israeli salad is basically made up of 2 simple ingredients (that can turn into 3, 4 or 5… but just wait for it): Cucumber and tomatoes. Both ingredients are cut into small tiny squares and mixed together… and that’s it! You have your Israeli salad ready.

Some people add onions and/or red peppers to it to enrich the flavor and nutrients of this salad, and some braver ones even add parsley and/or basil to it. But, what about you? How do you like your Israeli salad? Let us know in the comments of the article!

Learn Hebrew today and grab a dish!

Learning Hebrew has never been so tasty… sorry! We mean easy (we got hungry writing about these dishes). Now again: Learning Hebrew has never been so easy.

By joining one of Rosen’s online Hebrew courses you’ll be speaking Hebrew in almost no-time. Give it a try, participate in one of the classes, meet outstanding Hebrew instructors and be amazed by the results you’ll get. Give yourself this gift. You deserve it. Behatzlacha!

About the author

Arie Elbelman R.Arie was born and raised in Chile, and immigrated to Israel in his early twenties. He wants to take an active role in the development of this young and smart country. Arie believes that the best way to shape our present and future is to live with more horizontal hierarchies, to smile a whole lot, and to always, always respect each other.

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