gastronome
mansaf

In my many travels to Fattoush I have eaten only one entree: a nomadic specialty called mansaf. This is not because the rest of the menu is wanting in any way, but simply because the first time I went to Fattoush I picked out the tastiest thing on the menu - mansaf - and discovered my dream comfort food.

Mansaf is a pyramid of tangy aged yogurt-drenched rice with a delectible core of tender lamb chunks, topped with toasted almonds. After I had it once I couldn't bring myself to order anything else on the menu. I also figured out that my husband wasn't hot on supporting my new addiction every night of the week with trips to Fattoush, so I knew I had to figure out how to make it at home. So I tried to make it. The results? One word: disaster.

I'm not exactly sure what I did wrong, but I have a couple ideas.

The first was (duh) I didn't really have a solid recipe to work with. I found a few candidates online on various sites, but in the end I just tried throwing it together. The second clue it wasn't going well was the yogurt. Although the end result was edible, the yogurt sort of clotted and it wasn't very pretty to look at; my husband thinks it was because he had picked up a no-fat variety by mistake.

If anyone out there has a Jordanian/Middle Eastern cookbook and wouldn't mind typing in the recipe; I'm game to try the experiment again!

Posted by rebecca on July 17, 2003 | TrackBack
Comments

Alas, no middle-eastern cookbook, but some thoughts on yoghurt chemistry...

The yoghurt may have clotted because the heat was too high. If you are adding the yoghurt to some kind of hot sauce, instead try adding the sauce to the yoghurt in very small amounts, letting the yoghurt cool the sauce (and the sauce gently warm the yoghurt).

If it's the kind of yoghurt, you might try the Greek yoghurt now available in the Bay Area. (Brand is TOTAL, and it comes in 3 levels of fat indulgence). North American yoghurt tends to be more acidic and thinner than middle-eastern and european yoghurts. I think this has something to do with the bacterial starter as well as the temperature to which yoghurt has to be cooked for approval by the FDA.

Finally, I had advice from an Indian friend that the best yoghurt for Indian sauces (available here) had to be made from whole milk (3.25%) and strained through cheesecloth for thickness. I think this comes back to approximating greek style yoghurt, but I'm not sure.

Posted by: naomi on August 1, 2003 12:34 PM

HOW TO MAKE MANSAF

Ingredients: -
4 kilos of lamb
1 Kilo of Whey
Margarine
2 Kilos of Egyptian Rice
Pine Nuts and Fried Almonds


Recipe: -
1- Whey is washed and soaked in water for an hour, then mashed with the blender moulinex, then dried out.
2- Meat is washed and put in a tray and soaked in water
3- Onion (chopped into squares) is added, then meat is boiled to be rather cooked.
4- Meat is removed and soup is taken.
5- Whey juice is mixed with the soup and left to boil, it can be thickened with cornstarch as wished.
6- Meat is added and it is kept on fire until soup and meat are cooked well.
7- Rice is cooked, and then two or three Arabic loaves are put in the tray.
8- Rice is put on the bread pyramidically, then pieces of meat are arranged on the surface.
9- Mansaf is decorated with the pine nuts and almonds.
10- Mansaf is served with hot whey juice and sprayed on mansaf as wished.


Taken from the October issue of Jordan Today magazine.

Posted by: on November 5, 2003 8:49 AM

Salmualkm, i have a shortcut and two varoious recipes and there on this website :
htMansaf


www.maggime.com



(Serves 8)

Preparation time: 15 - 20 minutes

Cooking time: 55 - 60 minutes


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Ingredients:

Salt and black pepper, to taste
1kg lamb meat, cubed
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
1 tsp. allspice
2 cubes MAGGI Chicken Stock, dissolved in 3 litres water
6 cups rice
2 tsp. corn flour
1 cup water
3 cups yoghurt
Toasted Saj bread
1 cup fried pine nuts

Preparation:

Salt and pepper the lamb cubes and brown them in the hot oil
Add the onions, allspice, dissolved MAGGI Chicken Stock and rice to the meat. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium fire and simmer for 25 minutes
Turn off the fire and leave the dish covered for 10 minutes while you prepare the yoghurt sauce
In a separate pan, mix the corn flour with the water, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil while stirring until thick. Then reduce fire, add the yoghurt and warm for another 3 minutes while stirring
Place the bread on a pre-warmed platter and scoop the rice with the meat over the bread
Finally pour the yoghurt sauce over the rice and garnish with the pine nuts . And Enjoy! Ma ala uck!

here is another webpage
tp://www.jordan-explorer.com/mansaf.asp

Posted by: Juliana on November 7, 2003 10:05 AM

Salmulakm..Brother and Sisters.
Well, i decided to expose the Middle East Cuisine and hopefuly it will be everyones favorite. And save yourself from going on a trip overseas ..

Falafel

2 cups chick-peans
1 medium sized onion
2 cloves garlic
˝ cup finely chopped parsley
1-teaspoon ground coriander
˝ teaspoon ground cumin
1-teaspoon bicarbonate soda
Salt
Freshly ground paper
Oil for deep-frying

................

Put the chick-peans in a bowl and cover with 3 cups of water. Leave to soak for 24 hours. Changing water after 12 hours.

Drain

Mix chick-peans with roughly chopped onion and garlic twice in food grinder using fine screen, or process in food processor in 2 lots.

Mix with parsley, coriander, cumin and soda and add salt and paper to taste. Knead well and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Shape a tablespoon of mixture to balls, and then flatten into thick patties.

Deep fry in hot oil, 5-7 patties at a time, and cook for 3-5 minutes, turning to brown evenly. When well browned, remove and drain on Paper towels.

Serve hot with bread and salad vegetables.

Posted by: JULIANA BAWADIKJI on November 7, 2003 10:14 AM

Salmualkm..
Ready for Dessert,?!! A middle eastern dessert?!
This is a simple easy to do, this is called

Fried Qateyef..(KA-tay-if).

Ingredients:

2 cans x 170g NESTLÉ Cream, cooked
12 big slices Qatayef
6 cups frying oil
3 cups syrup
1/2 cup ground pistachios for garnishing

Preparation:

Add cooked NESTLÉ Cream to Qatayef slices
Wrap Qatayef slices and seal firmly
Fry in hot oil until golden brown then place in syrup. Garnish with ground pistachios
Hint: You can find Qatayef slices in supermarkets and sweet shops


Syrup Mixture:
Preparation time: 10 minutes, Quantity: 3 cups
Mix 2 1/2 cups of sugar in 1 1/2 cups of water and heat moderately without stirring
Increase the heat until mixture boils
When it boils, add a teaspoon of lemon juice. Allow mixture to boil slowly until it thickens
Add a teaspoon of rose water and orange blossom water (found in Mid eastern stores). Keep mixture on heat for few minutes then allow to cool.

or other option:

Preparation: NESTLÉ Cooked Cream
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Mix 3 cups of prepared NIDO milk with 1/4 cup of sifted plain flour
Place mixture on medium heat while stirring
When it boils, simmer for five minutes, pour into a separate dish and allow it to cool
Mix 2 cans x 170g of NESTLÉ Cream with prepared mixture to make it ready to use

Posted by: Juliana Bawadikji on November 7, 2003 10:26 AM

Qateyef are small little pancakes.. use the inside of the uncooked area and put the stuffing inside u can use walnuts,pistachios any kind of nuts as you would like but for the nuts and sugar and allspice and cinnamon. gives you a wonderful flavour.

Posted by: Juliana on November 7, 2003 10:31 AM

i love your recepies, keep up and find more

Posted by: Olga O'Brien on April 6, 2004 10:55 AM

For 30 years I have made this recipe when I couldn't find jameed (harden yogurt). so easy.
2 xlarge containers plain yogurt
1 xlarge container of sour cream
1 leg of lamb cut up by your butcher, about 2 inch slices
4 tablespoons or more of turmeric.
1tbls salt
1 tsp allspice

cover meat in a large pan with water. Bring to boil. skim off excess fat from water. Turn to med and boil for about 45 minutes until meat is about 1/2 done. Turn heat to low. Slowly stir in yogurt, sour cream, turmeric, salt and alspice.
Stir until all are mixed. Turn up to boil,add about 2 cups of water stirring then turn back down to a low boil, keep boiling and stir every 20 minutes or so until meat is done. Taste and add turmeric or salt as needed. If too thin, add cornstarch or too thick add water.

Rice:
Cook rice for 8 people or more. It's even better the next day. Add turmeric to rice to give it flavor and turn it a great yellow color. Then toast or fry in butter or olive oil watching closely, pine nuts and slivered almonds.

Serve the soup and meat over the rice and sprinkle with nuts. Delicious!!

Posted by: April on October 24, 2004 9:03 AM

FAST,EASY AND YUMMY MANSAF

FROM MIDDLE EASTERN STORES: 2 LARGE CONTAINERS PLAIN YOGART
LARGE CUT UP PEACES OF LAMB (WITH BONES)
WATER TO BOIL MEAT
1/4 ONION
SALT
3 CUPS RICE (JASMIN MEDIUM GRAIN IS GOOD)
SLIVERED ALMONDS
PINE NUTS
1 1/2 CUPS BUTTER

1:IN A LARGE POT BEFORE TURNING ON HEAT MIX IN ALL YOGART

2: ON HIGH HEAT BRING YOGART TO A BOIL. (VERY IMPORTANT) MAKE SURE WHILE BRINGING YOGART TO BOIL, YOU ARE CONSTANTLY STIRRING YOGART WITH A WOODEN LADLE ONE WAY ONLY. SO IF YOU STARTED STIRRING TO THE LEFT YOU MUST KEEP STIRRING THAT WAY UNTIL YOGART STARTS TO BOIL.

3: ONCE YOGART BOILS TURN HEAT OFF.

4: IN ANOTHER POT COVER CUT UP LAMB (WITH BONES) WITH WATER.

5: ADD 1/4 OF AN ONION.

6: BOIL UNTIL LAMB IS TENDER.

7: REMOVE LAMB AND STRAIN WATER (LAMB BROTH) TO REMOVE ANY SMALL PARTICALS.

8: ADD ABOUT 2-3 CUPS OF THE WATER (LAMB BROTH ) TO THE POT OF COOKED YOGART.

9: add salt to taste and if not tart enough you may add juice from about 1/2 a lemon.

10: add lamb meat to the yogart and broth mixture (make sure to remove the onion)and let boil one more time.

11: cook rice with 1 cup of butter

12: brown almonds and pine nuts in remaining butter.

13: once rice is cooked remove it from pot and place it in a large round platter, then spread half of the nuts on top of rice, then place lamb meat over rice and nuts, then spread remaining nuts over entire platter

14: place the ccoked yogart in a large serving bowl

15: when serving put rice and meat in indivisual plates and spread cooked yogart over it.

16: enjoy

this is the real Jordanian way except we usually make our own yogart

Posted by: NANCY on May 1, 2005 1:28 AM

mothers day is almost here...and im running out of ideas...for her bday i just made dolmas with fresh grape leaves and lamb/rice/mint...and marinated/grilled leg of lamb...hummus/pita/olives/taboli/armenian string cheese/taramosalata/pakastani rice with pine nuts and cumin seeds...i want to really WOW her for mothers day..she loves lamb...but i want something very authentic and different than i usually do...can anyone suggest something...we only need enough food for 4.
thanks!
mia

Posted by: mia on May 3, 2005 11:09 PM

I read your recipee ,everything sound good ,except the yogurt.I would rather use JORDANIAN JIMEED... jimeed is made of goat,s yogurt drained in white mesh ,and let todry.I myself I remember ,when I was a lttle kid, my dad was an ARMENIAN farmer ,in JORDAN . Our farm was adjacent to THE JORDANIAN OFFICER CLUB .and he was agood friend to the cook. When KING HUSSEIN(GOD BLESS HIS SOUL) had an invatation of Mansaf ,he used to send abig tray of Mansaff to my dad, who he shared witth all our bedouin workers .... I STILL CAN TASTE IT ....K.BIRAZIAN

Posted by: KARKOR BIRAZIAN on May 16, 2006 7:21 PM
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