Mansaaf (Spiced Lamb)

Recipe by alAmira
READY IN: 2hrs 20mins


  • Main
  • 3
    lbs lamb shoulder, on the bone cut into 6 even sized pieces (this is preferred but if you can't get it, 6 large pieces of lamb will do)
  • salt and pepper
  • 14
    cup clarified butter
  • 14
    cup pine nuts (optional)
  • 1
    large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 12
    teaspoons turmeric
  • 12
    teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1
    piece cinnamon or 1 piece cassia
  • Laban Mutboukh (cooked yogurt)
  • 2
    cups full fat yogurt (skim and fat free wont work, they'll come out too thin)
  • 1
    egg white, beaten till frothy
  • 2
    teaspoons cornflour
  • 1
    teaspoon salt


  • Place lamb in a large pan and just cover with water.
  • Bring to boil slowly, skimming off froth (this is blood and wont taste good if left in).
  • When clean and boiling, add salt and pepper as desired, cover and simmer about 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat butter in a skillet, and add snoober nuts, sautéing till golden.
  • Remove, keeping butter in the pan as much as possible, and set nuts aside.
  • Add onion to pan, frying gently until clear.
  • Then stir in turmeric, allspice and cinnamon all at once and cook another 2 minutes only.
  • Add onion mixture to the lamb.
  • Meanwhile, prepare Laban mutboukh as follows:Place the yogurt in a heavy pan.
  • Blend beaten egg whites with cornflour and add salt, stirring into the yogurt until well mixed.
  • Place pan over medium heat, and stirring constantly, heat until it begins to boil.
  • It's important to stir in the same direction, or so my grandma always said.
  • Lower the heat and let simmer, uncovered about 3-5 minutes or until thickened.
  • Set aside.
  • When lamb as cooked about 1 hour, remove the lid, cooking until the liquid has been reduced so it's covering only half the lamb.
  • Then add laban mutboukh, shaking the pan instead of stirring to blend.
  • Simmer over low heat until lamb is tender and sauce is thickened.
  • If it can't be helped, and sauce must be stirred, do so in one direction.
  • Adjust salt and pepper as desired and remove cinnamon.
  • Pile the mansaaf on a serving plate, sprinkling with the snoober nuts.
  • Serve with hot cooked rice.
  • Mansaaf is usually eaten over the rice with the sauce poured generously over the top.