Alayet Bandoura.. Pan Seared Tomatoes
Updated: Jun 18
Galayet, kalayet, alayet etc. It depends where you are from this dish of simply tomatoes, olive oil and garlic might have a different pronunciation. But no matter how’s it’s pronounced the name in Arabic means fried (or really pan seared tomatoes). It’s made with humble ingredients that are often found at every home.
My mom and grandmother prepared this dish on days they didn’t really want to cook, during lent season or often as a brunch dish on the weekends. I used to love it when my Teta made it because she often served it with homemade crispy, salty french fries.
The ingreients in Alayet bandoura are simple and a few in fact less than 5 so they all must be the best. Tomatoes are often in season and so juicy, and the olive oil is always cold pressed and extra virgin.
The bandoura in this dish is layered in a single layer in a shallow pan with garlic, chili’s and olive oil. And in my family this dish is always finished with fresh and/or dried mint.
Alayet bandoura is often scooped up with warm pita bread to mop up all the warm ruby juices. Bread is so loved in Palestine and in the Arab world that its considered a utensil.
Although this is my absolute favorite way to eat tomatoes. But there is also a meat version of this dish. Slow braised lamb is added to the tomatoes. Its a dish that my grandfather adored, Teta made it often for him and she served it with rice, olives and green scallions.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Serves 4-6 it depends who's eating it or how its served.
5-6 large tomatoes
1 Serrano peppers or jalapeño you can leave it whole or seeded and diced (optional)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 tablespoons olive Oil divided
salt to taste
Fresh or dried mint to finish
Slice the tomatoes into 1/2 inch rounds. Cut the Serrano pepper and mince the garlic.
Heat 3 tbls of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, and Serrano pepper let it Infuse in the oil for a few seconds. Avoid browning the garlic it will turn the whole dish bitter.
Arrange the tomatoes in one-layer don’t over crowd the pan. You might have to do this in batches. We are trying to get a nice sear on the tomatoes otherwise they will steam instead. Alayet bandoura comes from the word frying tomatoes so we don’t really want them to steam.
Cook for a few minutes and when the tomatoes loose some of their juices and caramelize around the edges, flip to the other side 3-4 minutes then toss the tomatoes to combine.
Turn the heat on low and simmer for a few more minutes.
Season with salt to taste. Finish with a nice drizzle of olive oil and crushed dried or even fresh Mint.
Often Served with warm pita bread.