There are a lot of recipes out there for Middle Eastern fried tomatoes. They come in all forms and flavors; some have meat in them, while others are sautéed with eggs (like Shakshuka). But this Jordanian Galayet Bandora is one that I like the best. It is traditionally served as a main course for lunch or dinner, or as a starter. It is also one of the olive-oil based dishes in the Middle Eastern cuisine, as it only works with olive oil and not with any other fat.
Vegetarian, vegan and packed full with vitamin C, Galayet Bandora originates from the Jordanian rural “food basket,” where tomatoes are grown in close proximity to the lowest point on earth, none other than the Dead Sea. It is also commonly cooked all year round, with Autumn being the peak season for this savory dish, as it is the olive harvest season. Galayet Bandora is served in a number of restaurants around Amman, the capital, and Jordan, and are often spruced up with a sprinkle of roasted pine nuts to give the dish a celebratory look.
Slice the tomatoes, onions, and one half of a Serrano pepper. Mince the garlic.
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions, minced garlic, sliced Serrano peppers, and the whole Serrano pepper.
Sauté until the onions are a lovely golden color. Make sure not to burn the garlic.
Arrange the tomatoes in one-layer rows across the frying pan or wok. Try not to overlap.
Keep the pan uncovered and turn up the heat to caramelize the tomatoes. Keep your eye on the pan, and when the tomatoes lose some of their liquid and form a caramelized consistency on the edges, stir the tomatoes to mix them up a bit.
Turn down the heat and cover the frying pan to simmer. Cook until the sauce is nice and thick, but not too dry.
Add salt and crushed black pepper to taste. Serve with pita bread or gluten-free crackers.