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Mansaf Recipe

Mansaf Recipe

Mansaf is a traditional Jordanian dish, often considered the national dish of Jordan. It's a unique and flavorful meal, typically made with lamb cooked in a sauce of fermented dried yogurt and served with rice or bulgur. Here's a recipe to make Mansaf at home:

Ingredients

For the Lamb:

  • 2 kg lamb, cut into large chunks (shoulder or leg cuts work well)
  • 2 large onions, quartered
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Jameed Sauce (Fermented Dried Yogurt Sauce):

  • 500g jameed (a hard, dried fermented yogurt) or you can substitute with Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups water (if using jameed)
  • 1 cup chicken or lamb broth
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

For Serving:

  • 3 cups rice, rinsed and drained
  • Thin flatbread (like shrak or markook), optional
  • Almonds and pine nuts for garnish, toasted
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Lamb:

    • Place the lamb chunks in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam that rises to the top.
    • Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer until the lamb is tender (about 1-1.5 hours).
  2. Prepare the Jameed Sauce:

    • If using jameed, soak it in water overnight, then blend it with the soaking water until smooth.
    • In a large pot, combine the jameed mixture or Greek yogurt with chicken or lamb broth, turmeric, and cumin.
    • Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly. Be careful not to let it boil, as this can cause the yogurt to curdle.
  3. Combine Lamb with Jameed Sauce:

    • Once the lamb is tender, add it to the jameed sauce. Let it simmer gently for another 20-30 minutes so the flavors meld together.
  4. Cook the Rice:

    • In another pot, cook the rice according to package instructions.
  5. Assemble the Mansaf:

    • Traditionally, Mansaf is served on a large platter over a thin flatbread. Place the cooked rice on the bread, then the lamb pieces on top of the rice.
    • Pour the jameed sauce over the lamb and rice generously.
    • Garnish with toasted almonds, pine nuts, and chopped parsley.
  6. Serve:

    • Mansaf is typically eaten with the right hand, using the flatbread to scoop up the rice and lamb. Utensils can also be used.

Enjoy your homemade Mansaf! This dish is a celebration of flavors and textures, often served on special occasions and gatherings in Jordanian culture.

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