I have absolutely no idea why this dish is called “chilleh-fry.” I’ve asked my mom, my grandma, my aunts, and everyone just agrees that it’s called “chilleh-fry” for whatever reason. Is it a version of chili? Some American word that was mixed in with Middle Eastern cuisine lingo? While I may not be able to find the origins of this dish, I know it’s good.
This dish is traditionally eaten as a breakfast item, but it makes a fantastic dinner too. Fresh meat, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, salt, pepper, garlic, and lemon, with loaves of fluffy white sumoon or pita bread right out of the oven. You can eat it over rice, pasta, or just gobble it in satisfying spoonfuls. My brother loves eating leftover chilleh-fry with pasta. I think it tastes fantastic in the morning with an egg cracked on top, and pita bread on the side. And it makes such a hearty meal too! (I actually made this for dinner last night, and ate some of the leftovers with an egg this morning. So delicious!).
We usually make this dish with ground beef or finely chopped ground chuck. I happened to have ground turkey on hand, so I guess you can consider this recipe a lighter version of the traditional chilleh-fry. When you’re a busy grad student, you can’t always be picky about the supplies on hand.
1 pound ground turkey, ground beef, or chopped ground chuck
1 tomato, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can tomato sauce
1-2 cloves garlic (or more if you’re a garlic fan!)
a handful of chopped parsley
salt and pepper
In a medium saucepan, sauté the chopped peppers and onions. Sprinkle with a bit of salt. When the onions have a obtained a translucent color, add the tomatoes. (If you’re not a fan of chunky tomatoes, you can cook them with the peppers and onions)
Add the garlic.
Add the meat and stir, adding salt and pepper. Once the meat has cooked, add the can of tomato sauce. Flavor with salt, pepper, and lemon to taste. Add the chopped parsley. Allow the veggies and meat to simmer in the tomato sauce for about 10 minutes. Voilà! The chilleh-fry is now ready to eat, with pita bread, pasta, rice, or anything else that you enjoy.