Updated: May 15
Prep time: 45mins
Cooking time: 1hr 15mins
Difficulty level: Easy
Whoever visited the island of Gozo is familiar with the simple yet mouth-watering Gozitan ftira which dates back to hundreds of years. This historic recipe is still very popular and highly sought after, by both the Maltese people & foreigners. It’s considered as a must-have meal when visiting Malta’s sister island, Gozo. I remember when I was younger, my mother used to prepare several ftajjar which we used to take with us to Ramla Bay for a lovely summer evening with our extended family…sweet memories!
In the old days, the Gozitan ftira was considered as “the poor man’s meal”. This is because most ingredients could be picked up from the same farm of the “poor man”. Until a number of years ago, meat was only consumed on Sundays or special occasions, hence making this meatless meal a very common one. Furthermore, our ancestors did not consume any meat on Wednesdays and Fridays for religious reasons.
Don’t confuse the Gozitan Ftira with the Maltese one!
Yes – in an archipelago with around half a million inhabitants, the term ftira means something different as soon as you cross the ferry from the mainland Malta to the second-largest island of Gozo. Both meals are vegetable-based, however, unlike the Gozitan one, the Maltese ftira is made up of fresh bread and uncooked vegetables. It’s still a very delicious and popular lunch across the Maltese Islands.