Jordanian Mansaf

"Mansaf is the national dish of Jordan and I can understand why. This Bedouin dish is fantastic. Mansaf is served on a large serving platter over khubz (Arabic flat bread) and rice. It is meant to be eaten communally, as part of a social event. Guests gather around the table and enjoy Mansaf, eaten with the finger tips of the right hand. Found at Buttery Books. See Chef Michael Smith's Mansaf experience here:"
photo by Mohammad A. photo by Mohammad A.
photo by Mohammad A.
photo by dinnamica photo by dinnamica
Ready In:
2hrs 45mins


  • 2 lbs lean lamb (1-1/2 inch cubes, beef can be substituted)
  • 12 cup clarified butter (use samna or ghee if available, or make your clarified butter, see clarified butter note)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 teaspoon coriander (see spices note below)
  • 1 12 teaspoons cumin
  • 12 teaspoon paprika
  • 14 teaspoon cardamom
  • 12 cup whole blanched almond
  • 12 cup pine nuts
  • 4 -6 loaves pita bread (khubz, Arabic pita-type bread is used in Jordan)
  • 3 cups rice, raw measure, cooked (Jasmine med grain or Basmati is good)
  • parsley or chives, chopped for garnish


  • Wash meat cubes and place in tray with lid. Cover meat with water, cover tray and place in refrigerator for 4-8 hours.
  • Melt 1/4 cup of the clarified butter in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Drain and pat dry meat cubes. Place in skillet and cook for 20 minutes until browned on all sides. Season meat with salt and pepper, to taste, and add enough water to cover meat. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 1 hour. Add onion and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • While meat and onion are cooking, place yogurt in a large saucepan and whisk over medium heat until liquid. Whisk in egg white and ½ teaspoon of salt. Slowly bring yogurt mixture to boil stirring constantly with a wooden spoon in one direction only to reach desired consistency. Reduce heat to low and allow yogurt to softly simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
  • Stir yogurt into meat and add seasonings as desired. Simmer gently for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed.
  • In a small skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the remaining 4 tablespoons of clarified butter. Add almonds and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in pine nuts and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Split the khubz loaves open and arrange, overlapping on a large serving tray. Melt the last remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and brush over the khubz to soften. Arrange rice over the khubz leaving a well in the center of the rice. Spoon the meat into the rice well and then spoon the butter and nuts over the meat. Sprinkle parsley or chives over top.

  • Clarified butter is necessary for frying since it doesn’t burn.
  • One stick (or 1/2 cup of butter) will yield about 6 tablespoons of clarified butter. So for this recipe, you will need to clarify approximately 3/4 cup of butter.
  • Following is a simple clarification method. It’s not perfect, but easy and close enough. Slowly melt a stick of butter. Remove from heat and allow butter to cool undisturbed for 10 minutes to separate. You will notice a white foam on the top, the clarified butter in the center, and milk solids at the bottom. Carefully, skim the foam off the top and discard. Slowly pour the clarified butter off the milk solids into a measuring cup. Discard, the separated solids.

  • For a more authentic Bedouin flavor add the following spices:

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon.
  • ½ teaspoon of cloves.
  • 2 teaspoons of nutmeg.

Questions & Replies

  1. please i need more lessons on how to make lamb kabsa rice and many more arabic dishes...... thanks


    • Review photo by dinnamica
  2. This was phenomenal, better than I'd hoped. It has that complex and evocative blend of flavors that I have always wanted to try to achieve and never had before. Excellent!
  3. The taste with all the extra spices was great! I used Fage, and it kinda curdled and was way too dry. Should be liquid soupy, so I will use jameed next time. The boneless lamb also was too dry, with too much roasting time. I will try lamb shanks and liquid jameed next time. Trying to recreate the tastes and textures we experienced in Jordan recently.
  4. My favorite food , Every week I use to eat mansaf when I was in Jordan it's delicious I miss this food. too much
  5. My Jordanian husband loved it!! He said the flavor was just right but he's used to more runny of a consistency where you ball it up in your hands and scoop with a piece of pita. I didnt put all of the yogurt sauce into the meat so that was my doing. I used already cubed lamb that's reserved for stews and the lamb turned out kinda tough for my tastes. I'll used a better cut of meat next time. I took someone's advice and drained the oil/butter mostly before adding the yogurt mixture and it was perfect :)


  1. Dairy and nut allergies in our family, so I swapped the yogurt for a carton of dairy-free sour cream. I just stirred it in to the meat at the end, without mixing it with egg and cooking in another pot. It was fabulous. I garnished it with toasted pumpkin seeds instead of almonds and pine nuts.
  2. I served it on the bread. Roasted almonds was a great touch.



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