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Mansaf platter placed on a wooden table.
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Mansaf

Jordanian Cuisine is full of delicious recipes and mansaf is on top of that list. Mansaf is a traditional dish made by layering bread, rice and tender pieces of lamb chunks served along with a special yogurt sauce. A very festive popular dish for special occasions.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 15 mins
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Jordanian, Middle East
Diet: Halal
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 614kcal
Author: Amira

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds lamb meat preferably bone-in meat
  • 2 Tablespoons ghee , you can use clarified butter too.
  • 1 each onion cut into chunks or sliced
  • 1 each cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorn

For the rice:

  • 2 Tablespoons ghee
  • 2 cups short grain rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • 2½ to 2 ⅔ cups water

For the Jameed sauce:

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons ghee
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 packet liquid Jameed

For Garnishing:

  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds
  • 1/2 bunch parsley chopped

Instructions

  • Fill a deep pot with enough water to cover the meat and bring to a boil. Add meat and wait for the water to boil again.
  • Let the meat boil with water for 5 minutes, then take the meat pieces out and dump the water.
  • In the same pot melt 2 tablespoons of ghee then add onions and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the spices, meat cubes and brown for about 5 minutes.
  • Cover with hot water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until done. This will probably take about 75 minutes.

Meanwhile make the rice:

  • In a pot melt ghee and then add the rice. Stir rice until the rice grains are covered with ghee.
  • Mix in turmeric and salt and then pour in water.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook until done.

Make the Jameed sauce:

  • When the meat is done start making the Jameed sauce.
  • In a large bowl add yogurt and spring with cornstarch. Mix the cornstarch in using a whisk.
  • Pour in the liquid Jameed (soup starter) and whisk well. Then mix in about 1 1/2 cups of the meat broth.
  • In a pot over medium heat melt ghee and then sauté the garlic for just 30 seconds.
  • Pour the Jameed mixture whisking everything well and bring to a boil.
  • Add in the the cooked meat. Taste and season to your liking.
  • Let everything cook together for about 10 minutes over medium heat.

To assemble the dish:

  • Right before serving assemble your dish.
  • On a big platter arrange the bread and then ladle some of the Jameed sauce on top.
  • Spread the rice over bread and place the cooked lamb meat on top.
  • Ladle more sauce over and sprinkle the top with toasted almonds and chopped parsley.

Notes

  • The traditional meat to use is lamb, but you can use beef as well.
  • If you do not have or can't get the Jameed, you can use a mixture of Greek yogurt and buttermilk or just Greek yogurt to make the sauce. 
  • Jameed usually comes in dry hard balls made from ewe or goat's milk, but the one we have here in the US is the liquid starter. 
  • Short grain rice is traditional to use in the Jordanian Mansaf, but if you do not have it, use any rice you have.
  • Some people like to cook the meat halfway through then finish it off in the Jameed, others prefer to cook it in the Jameed from the start. I find it is easier to cook the lamb then let it boil in the Jameed sauce later.
  • Adding garlic to the Jameed is a step I learned from a fried but it is not traditional.
  • I used 4-5 uncooked tortillas in place of the Shrak bread. Cook the tortillas by quickly pan frying them for about 30-seconds in a non-stick frying pan on your stove top. Traditional Shrak bread is only cooked on one side, to create a doughy texture on one side. You may prefer the same. 
  • Some like to tear the bread into pieces before placing them on the serving plate.
  • You can also use toasted pine nuts for garnish as well. 

Nutrition

Calories: 614kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 127mg | Potassium: 592mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 466IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 6mg