Ijeh [Palestine or Syria]

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The exact origins of ijeh is hard to pinpoint with some cookbook authors claiming the dish to be an egg fritter from Palestine while others are sourcing it as a dish similar to latkes and originally from Syria. If any of you can clarify or have additional insight into this dish, please share with us in the comments below as we would love to know more!

The recipe that caught our eye can be found posted here by Refinery29, but the original comes from the book Palestine on a Plate by Joudie Kalla. Her take on ijeh is in the form of “Fluffy Egg Fritters with Tomato Salsa” and it is an absolutely fresh and comforting way to start the morning. We’ve adapted the recipe slightly based on how we approached the dish and to accommodate the ingredients in our pantry (because we did not have both fresh AND dried mint) and modified the amounts used based off of the size of our produce (our tomatoes and onions were quite large because God bless America). As with any recipe, feel free to tinker with it by adding or taking away ingredients according to your taste preferences.

We’ve followed the suggested hierarchy of fresh herb amounts by using a large handful of parsley, a small bunch of chives and even less mint leaves, but really, include as much or as little of each as you like. To get through the prep work quickly, have a large mixing bowl out for the ijeh ingredients and a smaller mixing bowl out for the salsa ingredients so that you can do the knife work for both at the same time since they share several ingredients.

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Ingredients (Yields 4 servings)

For the ijeh:

  • ½ large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 green chile, finely diced
  • ½ large heirloom tomato, deseeded and finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • Fresh chives, finely sliced
  • Fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sunflower oil

For the salsa:

  • ½ large heirloom tomato, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • Fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 lemons, freshly squeezed for juice
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt

Directions

For the ijeh:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the onion, chile, tomato, garlic, parsley, chives, mint, flour, and baking powder.
  2. Whisk in the beaten eggs until the batter is combined. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  3. In a cast iron skillet, pour in enough sunflower oil to coat the bottom and heat over high heat.
  4. Ladle the batter into the skillet to form as many fritters as would fit. Let cook until the bottom of each fritter is lightly browned, about 2 minutes, then flip and continue cooking until the fritter is cooked through, about another 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain of excess oil.
  5. Add more sunflower oil to the skillet before starting the next batch.

For the salsa:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the tomato, garlic, parsley, mint, lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, and salt to taste.

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