Okay, hands down this is one of my favorite traditional Middle Eastern rice dishes. Mansaf is a traditional Jordanian meal comprising of a layer of bedouin flatbread, rice, dried yogurt sauce, lamb, and toasted nuts and parsley. This is often served for big dinner parties in our culture since it is preferred by many and seen as a sign of generosity when offered to guests. Although it takes some time to make; it is very much worth it! If you are a visual learner, there is a tutorial on my Instagram too.
Servings: 8-10 people
Total Time: approx. 3 hours
5 lbs of Lamb Shoulder cut into medium pieces and washed thoroughly with water
1 tbsp sugar
3 Bay leaves
Place the meat into a large pot and cover with water. Place on the stove on medium to high heat to bring this to a boil.
Once it starts boiling, you will see some scum start to arise on the top of the pot from the meat. Just spoon this off and place in a bowl to discard.
Now add the sugar, cardamom, and bay leaves to the pot. Bring it down to a simmer and let this cook for another 2 hours or so until the meat is tender.
Once the meat is tender, place the meat in a pyrex pan and put to the side.
Sift the broth of the meat. You will be using a portion of it to add to the yogurt to thin the sauce if necessary. If not necessary, you can either discard or save broth in a container for future use.
2 cups crushed jameed (hard balls of dried yogurt) if this isn’t an option for you then use liquid jameed which is readily available in Middle Eastern stores
*Soak the jameed overnight in water in the fridge
2 tbsp mansaf spice (optional)
2 tbsp corn starch
2 1/2 cups of plain yogurt
2 cups beef broth (optional depending on how thick or thin you like your yogurt sauce)
Add the crushed jameed and the water it was soaked in into a blender and blend until all is smooth.
Then add the corn starch, plain yogurt, and beef broth. Blend again. Run this through a sieve into a large pot. *Use the same one you cooked the lamb in to save on dishes.
Cook the yogurt for about 15-20 min constantly stirring it until it starts to lightly boil. At this point, add the lamb pieces back into the pot with the yogurt. Let it cook together for another 15-20 minutes.
In the meantime, let’s start assembling. You will need a huge platter about 16 inches round. Add the bread which should be ripped into pieces. Soak the bread in a few ladles of yogurt sauce from the pot. Then add the rice and top that with the lamb pieces. Garnish with all the nuts and parsley. Serve the yogurt in a big bowl beside it so you can ladle more on top of your plate as you wish.
My family and I like to serve this with red onion sliced with squeezed lemon juice on top. Enjoy!
3-4 cups of cooked white or yellow rice
1 cup toasted almonds
1 cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup finely chopped parsley
3-4 large shrak or markouk breads (flatbread found in many international or middle eastern markets) shredded into pieces