There is the gallayeh and there is the 2allayeh.
There’s no difference really, but for some unknown reason the gallayeh always tastes better and is always taken more seriously than the 2allayeh! I haven’t had a good gallayeh in AGES!
Quick note: I’m not a male chauvinist pig, but don’t you agree that the best gallayehs are cooked by men? Not like chefs, but plain ordinary men.
I don’t think there’s a cheaper meal than el gallayeh. All it takes is tomatoes, onions and garlic (and hot pepper if needed) … and voilà! There you go, you have yourself a gallayeh.
But a really good gallayeh is all about timing and the proportions of ingredients.
I always thought my father’s gallayeh was the best, until a Salti friend of mine (Abul 7yari) strongly stated that the best gallayeh EVER is served in a small restaurant in Salt (السلط).
So one day, me and a bunch of friends were really bored and hungry. Abul 7yari suggested we go to Salt and eat the one-and-only gallayeh he previously recommended. We thought it’s such a long drive from Amman just to eat a gallayeh, but we did it anyways.
In the small roads of Salt and deep inside its beautiful old Souq, there lies a small restaurant, (I forgot its name. Maybe some Saltis can help me here). The restaurant didn’t look encouraging from the outside and it sure didn’t look encouraging from the inside either.
Reluctantly, we all sat down and ordered a couple of gallayehs. “What kind?”, the waiter asked. Apparently they had several ways for a gallayeh:
- Regular Gallayeh
- Hot Gallayeh
- Burning Hot Gallayeh
- Gallayeh with Minced Meat
- Gallayeh with Eggs.
- Gallayeh with Eggs AND meat.
Just so we wouldn’t miss out on anything, we ordered all of the above. And believe you me ladies and gentlemen, there, in that too-small-to-be-known restaurant, we all had the best gallayeh in our entire lives! I can’t begin to describe how wonderful it tasted!
Abul 7yari won the bet and ate his free meal, not that it cost a lot. I think the whole feast that got four big men really full didn’t cost more than ONE JD!
So if you’re ever in Jordan and felt like having a really good gallayeh, that’s the place you should go to.
Ba3dain why do I think 3awwayeh whenever I say gallayeh? Is it just me?
UPDATE: The name of the restaurant is Al Salam (مطعم السلام). I just called one of the friends who were with us and he confirmed it. Bonne Appetite!!