it’s called ‘jerjer’ or ‘jarjeer’ (جرجير) leaves.
yes, after almost 5 years in dubai, being addicted to this awesome middle eastern dish ‘mandi rice’, I finally found out the name of that leaf or salad or ulam that accompanied the dish – it’s also called ‘arugula’ in the states, or simply ‘rocket leaf’.
it’s said to have a peppery taste, but can be bitter. to me it’s just SO delicious when eaten with mandi rice!
this is at one of our favorite mandi rice restaurants – ‘maraheb madfoon & mandi restaurant’ in nad al hammar deira. notice the plate of jerjer/jarjeer leaves
in most mandi rice restaurants in dubai that I’ve been to, the mandi rice dish would be served with a small bowl of chilli-tomato condiment and a plate of fresh jerjer or jarjeer leaves, like in the picture above.
I’ve often wondered what is the name of this leafy ‘ulam’, since it was the first time I saw and tasted it here in dubai. and now I know!
my younger sisters (on their visit to dubai last few years) at another one of our favorite mandi rice restaurants, ‘al-tawasol’ in deira. this was where I first tasted mandi rice and jerjer/jarjeer leaves – and got addicted ever since!
fresh, crunchy, tasty – the salad plate at ‘bait al-mandi’, al-barsha which includes cut-up onions, cucumbers, a few lemon slices and of course, jerjer/jarjeer leaves.
this one comes together with cut-up tomatoes at ‘al-yahar modern restaurant’ in abu dhabi
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there are other ways to enjoy ‘jerjer leaves’ or ‘arugula’ other than with mandi rice as I know it!
- you can eat it raw with other dishes
- include it in a bowl of fresh salad
- with a pasta dish, complete with cheese
- with steak
- in a sandwich or with a sandwich
- sautéed lightly with other vegetables
- as a pizza topping!
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these are the other salad plate that comes with mandi rice – that does not include the jerjer or jajeer leaves. equally satisfying. because I just love crunchy salad. no matter what.
salad plates from ‘al-muraqabat’, from ‘al-marhabani’, and from ‘aden restaurant’, sharjah
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all the pictures are from my own personal collection. looking back at all the mandi rice pictures from so many mandi restaurants in dubai and abu dhabi that we’ve been to, I’m thinking of writing a blog post where I rank the nasi mandi! watch this space!
nways, thanks to wa tell tells for this information about jerjer leaves or jajeer leaves. I’m so happy that now I know!