Lunch and Dinner, Main Dishes, Middle Eastern Recipes, Palestinian Cuisine

Authentic Jordanian Mansaf

Mediterranean Mansaf is a traditional dish composed of layers of bread, rice, and tender chunks of lamb served with a special yogurt sauce

Jordanian cuisine is overflowing with delectable recipes, and authentic Jordanian Mansaf is at the top of the list. Mansaf is a traditional dish composed of layers of bread, rice, and tender chunks of lamb served with a special yogurt sauce.

Mansaf is Jordan’s national dish, and it is something you should try if you ever visit. It is, however, extremely popular in the Middle East and Levant. It is a special occasion meal that is often served at family gatherings.

This hearty Arabic dish is here to steal your heart. I’m confident you’ll enjoy it immensely! It’s incredibly simple to make and tastes fantastic.

A festival of flavors are all together in one dish, where lamb and fluffy rice are mixed with jameed sauce.
A taste of Jordan in every bite.


Exciting Facts about National Mansaf

This valuable, easily prepared dish is served at events and special occasions such as national or religious holidays and Ramadan, as well as when special guests visit.

It also makes a delicious, wholesome meal that can be served casually at home to spoil your family with all of this dish’s incredible flavors.

There’s a certain Jordanian pride and significance that goes along with Mansaf, and once you taste it and experience a communal meal of it, you’ll know why. Take a bit of lamb, bread, and rice to make a ball, then pop it into your mouth in one bite and enjoy it.


Mansaf is a delicious Jordanian dish with distinct flavors that includes bread, rice, meat, and a rich and tangy yogurt sauce. 
Beyond the boundaries of taste

Traditional Beduin-Jameed

Mansaf can be made with readily available liquid jameed, which is a hard, dried goat’s milk yogurt. It is widely available in most supermarkets throughout the Gulf countries.

But it is deliciously better if you prepare it at home. The secret of preparing jameed is that when soaking, it is better for you to keep an eye on it to get a balanced texture and incredible flavor.

Jameed is a vital ingredient that is traditionally used in Mansaf recipes. Laban is the Arabic word for yogurt, and Jameed means “hard”. Jameed is a fermented milk product that is made from sheep or goat milk, and it has its own flavor and aroma.


Ingredients

The ingredients for the most luxurious and delectable Mansaf are the following:

For Initial boiling:

Cardamom pods

Oil

Lamb shoulder

Water to cover

Yellow onion

Cinnamon

Black pepper

Bay leaf

For the Rice

Jasmine rice

Turmeric

Salt

Hot water

Oil

Ghee

For the Mansaf Broth

Bone in lamb shoulder

Jameed

Oil

Ghee

Water for jameed soak

Labaneh

Yogurt drink

Mansaf spices

Black pepper

Cracked Cardamom pods

Salt


Some of the best and simple ingredients for Mansaf are placed on the table, which are: Lamb, Labneh, cumin, onion, and yogurt.
A national dish with simplest ingredients

Easy Steps to Make Authentic Jordanian Mansaf

First, break the fermented yogurt (jameed) into small pieces and place in a bowl.

Then, add 1 cup of boiling water on top, cover it, and let it sit for 1 hour.

Second, add the lamb and sear for 1 minute, then add the onion, spices, and mix.

Then, add enough hot water to cover and let it sit on high heat for 10–15 minutes, until it boils.

Once it starts boiling, remove the lamb and discard the spices and onion.

Then, Add the lamb shoulder and the mansaf spices along with the black pepper and cardamom pods, and add enough hot water to cover.

Now, let it come to a boil before lowering the heat to medium and covering it to cook for about 45 minutes.

After that, strain the broth and set it aside. Return the lamb to the pot.

Meanwhile, add the soaked jameed pieces (with the water) into a blender along with the labneh and yogurt drink, and blend on high speed until smooth.

Finally, add the yogurt sauce to the lamb, using a strainer to make sure it stays smooth.

Now, add 2 cups of the leftover strained broth and mix. Keep mixing on medium heat until it foams, for about 10–15 minutes.

Last but not least, cover it and let it cool for another 45 minutes, or until the lamb is tender. Finish it off with the tbsp of ghee.

For the Rice

First, once the rice is soaked, strain it and add the oil and ghee to a pot on high heat. Add the rice once the ghee is melted.

Next, add the salt and turmeric and mix.

Finally, add the hot water and let it come to a boil, for about 5 minutes.

Now, lower the heat to low, and cover for another 15-20 minutes or until done.

For Assembling:

First, add a layer of shrak (thin bread) on the bottom.

Then, drizzle about ½ cup of yogurt soup over the top.

Next, layer the rice on it and add the lamb.

Then, top with toasted almonds or pine nuts and parsley.

Last but not least, strain the yogurt soup into a bowl, and now the cardamom pods will come out.

Finally, take a bit of lamb, bread, and rice to make a ball, then pop it into your mouth in one bite!



Substitutions and Variations


Mansaf from Jordan! A delectable yogurt-based dish accompanied by fluffy yellow rice, shrak bread, and lamb.
A taste of perfection

Tips and Safety Tricks

Authentic Mansaf, like most Middle Eastern rice dishes, is topped with crunchy toasted or fried nuts. Don’t skip this step because it adds a unique flavor and crunch to the rice; fry the nuts in butter or ghee right before serving.

The sauce must be neither too thick nor too runny; it should have the consistency of thin gravy.

Use a pressure cooker instead of a regular cooking pot to cook the lamb faster. In less than an hour, the meat will be tender.

Don’t leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.

Marinate the lamb in a mixture of yogurt, warm water, and spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves for several hours or even overnight. This adds flavor and helps the meat become more soft.

Use water to soften any dried jameed by soaking it first. After that, mix it to a smooth paste, making sure there are no lumps.


A dish of authentic mansaf that consists of fluffy rice, bread and topped with nuts.
Slow-cooked lamb, fragrant spices, and creamy yogurt unite in perfect harmony.

Storage Tips


A dish of yummy mansaf that consists of fluffy rice, tender lamb and topped with nuts.
Mouthwatering Mansaf, a culinary journey that transports you to the heart of Jordan.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Mansaf similar to Biryani?

No, Mansaf has nothing in common with biryani. Aside from the fact that they are both rice and meat dishes, the ingredients and flavor profiles are completely different.

How to eat Mansaf?

For traditional gatherings such as weddings, mansaf is served on a large community platter. The guests would stand or sit around the platter with their left hand behind their back and eat with their right hand only. You make rice and meat balls, pop them in your mouth, and eat them! We were only two people, so eating off one plate was a real treat!

How to serve Mansaf?

Mansaf is served on a large platter with shrak bread on the bottom to soak up the rich Jameed yogurt sauce that will soon be poured on top. After assembling the mansaf, save any extra Jameed sauce for dipping.


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If you’ve tried this recipe, don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube


Mansaf is a delicious Jordanian dish with distinct flavors that includes bread, rice, meat, and a rich and tangy yogurt sauce. 

Authentic Mansaf

Fatimah
A flavorful Mansaf is a traditional dish in Jordan composed of layers of bread, rice, and tender chunks of lamb served with a special yogurt sauce. A must-try recipe!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Jordanian
Servings 8
Calories 485 kcal

Ingredients
  

For Initial Boil:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • lamb shoulder
  • water to cover
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf

For the Rice:

  • 3 cups calrose rice washed well, a few times
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ tablespoon ghee

Mansaf Broth

  • 7 pounds lamb shoulder about 7-8 Large pieces
  • 1 pound jameed dry fermented yogurt
  • 1 cup water for jameed soak
  • 8 cups yogurt drink
  • 1 pound labaneh
  • tablespoons mansaf spices
  • ½ tablespoon black pepper
  • 4 cardamom pods cracked
  • salt to taste
  • water to cover
  • 1 tbsp ghee

Instructions
 

  • Break the fermented yogurt (jameed) into small pieces and place in a bowl, then add 1 cup of boiling water on top,  cover it, and let it sit for 1 hour.
  • I like to do an initial boil for my lamb to get rid of the gamy taste and gunk, so I add 1 tablespoon of oil to a pot and heat it up. Add the lamb and sear for 1 minute, then add the onion, spices, and mix.
  • Add enough hot water to cover and let it sit on high heat for 10–15 minutes, until it boils. Once boiling, remove the lamb and discard the spices and onion.
  • Now to the same pot, Add the lamb shoulder and the Mansaf spices along with the black pepper and cardamom pods, and add enough hot water to cover. Let it come to a boil before lowering the heat to medium and covering it to cook for about 45 minutes. Once the 45 minutes are up, strain the broth and set it aside. Return the lamb to the pot.
  • As that's cooking, add the soaked jameed pieces (withthe water) into a blender along with the Labneh and yogurt drink, and blend on high speed until smooth.
  • Add the yogurt sauce to the lamb, using a strainer to make sure it stays smooth. Now add 2 cups of the leftover strained broth and mix. Keep mixing on medium heat until it foams, about 10–15 minutes.
  • Once it is done, cover and let it cool for another 45 minutes, or until the Iamb is tender. Finish it off with the tbsp of ghee.

For the Rice:

  • Once rice is soaked, strain it, and add oil and ghee to a pot on high heat, then add the rice once the ghee is melted.
  • Add the salt and turmeric and mix.
  • Add the hot water and let it come to a boil about 5 minutes.
  • Now lower the heat to low, and cover for another 15-20 minutes or until done.

For Assembling:

  • To assemble the platter, you can start by adding a layer of shrak (thin bread) on the bottom. Drizzle about ½ cup yogurt soup over the top. Now layer the rice on it and add the lamb. Top with toasted almonds or pine nuts and parsley. Strain the yogurt soup into a bowl, and now the cardamom pods will come out. Serve and enjoy.
  • Take a bit of lamb, bread and rice to make a ball, then pop into your mouth in one bite! Enjoy

Notes

  • The sauce must be neither too thick nor too runny; it should have the consistency of thin gravy.
  • I like adding Labneh ONLY when my jameed isnt sour. labneh can give a tang and you can do without it!
  • Authentic Mansaf, like most Middle Eastern rice dishes, is topped with crunchy toasted or fried nuts. Don’t skip this step because it adds a unique flavor and crunch to the rice. Here’s a tip: fry the nuts in butter or ghee right before serving.
  • Use a pressure cooker instead of a regular cooking pot to cook the lamb faster. In less than an hour, the meat will be tender.
  • Marinate the lamb in a mixture of yogurt, warm water, and spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves for several hours or even overnight. This adds flavor and helps the meat become more soft.

Nutrition

Calories: 485kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 39gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 418mgPotassium: 605mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 4IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Authentic Mansaf, Jordanian mansaf, Mansaf
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2 thoughts on “Authentic Jordanian Mansaf

  1. YASUA says:

    5 stars
    Amazing website and Delicious recipes

  2. Candice says:

    5 stars
    Amazing mansaf recipe 😋😋😋 authentic and full of flavor

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