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COMPLETE LIST OF SPICES
Mansaf (Jordanian Lamb Platter)

Mansaf (Jordanian Lamb Platter)

Featured Spices
1 pound lean lamb, cut into 2 inch chunks
1 onion, finely chopped
¼ cup ghee
water for cooking

Spice Mix:
1 ½ tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 inch cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon coriander

Yogurt Sauce:
2 cups full fat yogurt
3 teaspoons arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)

Garnish:
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
4 tablespoons ghee

Serving:
pita or khubz (Arabic pita bread)
2 cups cooked rice
1 pinch saffron (optional)

Mansaf is a traditional Jordanian dish, served family-style, on a platter. Made with tender, slow-cooked lamb, creamy yogurt and a full mix of aromatic spices, it’s no wonder mansaf is Jordan’s national dish. Some deft dinner table choreography may need to be involved, as everyone will be reaching for second helpings. Try adding a little saffron to the rice while cooking for a little added fragrance and color.

Getting started

Using a mortar and pestle, or food processor, grind the following into a fine powder:
cumin
cardamom
black peppercorns
cinnamon
cloves
coriander

Set ground spices aside for later.

Rinse the lamb and pat it dry with paper towels. Cut the meat into 2 inch chunks. Keep aside for later.

Rinse the parsley under cool running water and chop finely. Set aside.

Chop the onion.

Heat the ghee in a large pot over medium-high. Add the onion and sauté until soft and transparent (about 7 – 10 minutes).

Stir in the lamb chunks and sear meat until it begins to brown (about 5 minutes). Add the ground spice mix and continue stir-frying until spices become fragrant (about 1 – 2 minutes more).

Pour enough water into the pot to cover meat. Cover the pot, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, strain and reserve the liquid from the pot, into a large heatproof bowl. Pour half of the liquid broth back into the pot and re-heat to a simmer. Continue cooking meat over low until lamb is tender and begins to fall apart (about 30 – 60 minutes more).

Preparing the yogurt

Into a separate saucepan, pour the remaining half of your reserved broth.

Mix in the yogurt. Bring yogurt just to a simmer over medium-low.

Pour the heated yogurt into the pot with your lamb and stir to combine. Allow the meat and yogurt to simmer for 5 minutes. Mix in arrowroot and simmer while stirring, allowing the sauce to thicken (about 5 – 10 minutes).

Remove from heat.

Cook rice according to the package directions. Add crushed saffron to your cooking water for added fragrance and color. Set aside.

Preparing nuts

Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in a skillet and add the slivered almonds. Toast the almonds for about 5 minutes. Add the pine nuts and continue cooking for 3 minutes more. Set aside into a heatproof bowl.

Serving Mansaf

Use your fingers to split open the khubz bread (or substitute pita) and lay flat on a serving platter. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons ghee and brush over top of the bread.

Spoon rice on top of the bread. Add lamb pieces on top of the rice, and then spoon yogurt over the lamb.

Sprinkle with toasted nuts and parsley.

Serve warm.

Note: you can make this dish gluten-free by leaving out the pita or using gluten-free bread.

Summary
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Recipe Name
Mansaf (Jordanian Lamb Platter)
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